The government is resigned to UK banks paying out billions of pounds in bonuses this year, despite its calls to curb the payments, the BBC has learnt. The best the coalition can hope for is a declaration from the banks that they will pay out less than they would have without government intervention, said BBC business editor Robert Peston. The government is also looking for banks to lend more to small businesses.
Business Secretary Vince Cable has been vocal in his opposition to big bonuses. He told the BBC last month that the coalition government was "fully signed up" to "robust action" in curbing bonuses.
From the BBC News Website
Last August I went to see the wonderful comedian Reginald D Hunter at the Edinburgh Festival. He said that all we ever get these days 'is shit news, man. If news came towards you in the street you would cross over to avoid it'. He's not wrong.
People in the UK, like many other countries across the globe, are facing financial hardship in 2011. Many will lose their jobs, their homes and family life as they know it. The global financial recession is the root cause of this - triggered by the threatened collapse of many financial institutions. The UK government has bailed out several banks, most notably the Royal Bank of Scotland - at the taxpayers expense. A week into 2011 comes the news that those same banks are preparing to pay out huge bonuses to their senior managers. The question on everyone's lips - apart from, I suspect, those who work in the banks - is why?
The ordinary working man and woman on the street are at the stage where they don't know how they are going to afford to live. They live week to week, possibly day to day in some cases. The money that has been taken from their pockets via increased VAT, national insurance contributions and taxes was redirected to banks to bail out their mismanagement. Mismanagement which is now resulting in more bonuses being paid.
Vince Cable says the government is fully signed up to robust action in curbing bonuses. Really? I don't trust politicians, particularly those who have sold their soul in order to gain a little bit of power.
As the cost of Christmas and the increased cost of living begins to hit people hard, we can at least take some comfort from the news that our bankers are resting that bit more easily. That's nice isn't it?