Friday, May 18, 2007

Trebles all round!

Not only is this a wonderful, heart-warming story, but it ought to please Pollyanna too. [Emphasis mine.]
Employees of whisky giant Whyte & Mackay are to share a £26m bonus after their outgoing chief executive offered to pay it out of his own pocket.

South African tycoon Vivian Imerman, 52, sold the firm to the Indian-based United Breweries Group in a deal worth £595m earlier this week.

He has offered to pay all 600 employees the equivalent of three month's salary as a thank you.

Mr Imerman bought Whyte & Mackay in 2005 and turned around the business.

He said he wanted to reward staff for the hard work they had put in to help transform Whyte & Mackay's fortunes. Employees were told of the windfall on Wednesday.

Although can these figures be right? £26m divided by 600 workers is about £43,300 each: that's a bonus and a half! But, do you see, Pol?—if "the good super-rich know" that inequality is bad, then I am sure that they could follow Mr Imerman's lead and personally pay bonuses to staff. Wouldn't that be nice?

Now, a question for any tax lawyers out there: what taxes will the staff be liable for on this bonus? How much of this generous thank you for all their hard work in helping to make the company profictable again will Gordon Brown now snaffle from these hard working people in order to pay for other people's fuckwit mistakes?

6 comments:

Mr Eugenides said...

Well, each staff member was getting the equivalent of three months' salary as a bonus, so it won't be shared equally. Still, the numbers do seem awfully high, don't they? Three months salary for the average employee would be well under £10,000.

I'm certain they'd have to pay tax on it. Indeed, it might take some of them over the threshold into the higher rate tax band...

The Remittance Man said...

Maybe he's covering the taxes as well.

But then again, since Mr Imerman is paying the thankyous out of his own pocket, wouldn't this count as a gift? Aren't gifts tax free?

Still, whoever said "I've never met a nice South African"?

Mark Wadsworth said...

The employees will be subject to income tax and NIC as normal, the payer probably doesn't get a tax deduction.

Anonymous said...

quite right, schedule E, income received by virtue of employment, just like a big tip really

Machiavelli's Understudy said...

My Dad was given a telly from his employers as a Christmas present and he had to pay the VAT on it...

james higham said...

That is indeed the question.