Tuesday, 24 October 2017


Will the government tax the super-rich bankers?

THE MEDIA has recently given some coverage to Sir Stephen Bubb’s call for bank bonuses to be taxed and the proceeds given straight to good causes to help protect them from Government spending cuts.

Sir Bubb is the chief executive of the Association of Chief Executives of Voluntary Organisations, which represents 2,000 charity leaders. He is worried that cuts to local government grants this year will force thousands of charities to slash their services or close entirely.

He noted:

“The £500m in cash reductions we’ve seen so far in the voluntary sector are merely the first signs of a gathering tsunami of ill-considered cuts which threatens to decimate the third sector, wreaking havoc on our communities.”

So what sort of money are we talking about in relation to bank bonuses? And who’s doing so well that they ‘have’ to be rewarded in this way?

Towards the end of last year, it was reported that Britain’s bank chiefs were set to pocket bonuses worth a total of around £15 Million. The bosses of Lloyds, Barclays, HSBC, Royal Bank of Scotland and Standard Chartered were all in line for these large payouts.

Stephen Hester of the RBS was looking forward to a bonus of up to £2.4 Million. Eric Daniels (the outgoing chief of Lloyds) was looking at £2.3 Million. Barclays boss John Varley – due to retire this coming March – stood to get £3 Million whilst Peter Sands of Standard Chartered expected something in the region of around £3.2 Million. All of this was dwarfed by Michael Geoghegan’s bonus. The HSBC supremo was looking for a cool £4 Million.

These bank bonuses come at a time of massive job cuts and increases in student fees. They also come at a time when the voluntary sector’s income from state sources could shrink by between £3bn and £5bn as a result of the cuts. (And, in this latter context, we can understand Sir Stephen Bubb’s concerns).

To say that the timing of these bonuses is a little insensitive is probably the understatement of the century. The NLP will watch with interest the Con-Dem government’s response to the call to tax these bank bonuses. Will they tax these super-rich bosses in order to help poorest and most vulnerable in society? Or will they just let the banks dictate terms as they have always done? We know which option our money is on – what about you?

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