BENNION BACKS CURBS ON BANKERS’ BONANZAS
SHROPSHIRE EURO MP Phil Bennion has welcomed the EU move to cap bankers’ bonuses and blasts Britain’s Tories for being ‘utterly out of touch’ with the public mood.
The farmer and economics expert said: “This is just one instance when our colleagues in the EU have clearly shown themselves to be more in touch with the public mood than Mr Cameron and Mr Osborne.
“There can be no justification for these lottery-number bonuses, or indeed salaries, being awarded to financiers whose dubious practices have led to so much disaster. The banking industry seems still to be unashamed at the damage wrought by their top people on astronomical rewards.
“My Lib Dem colleague Sharon Bowles MEP led for the Parliament on this issue – the cap on bonuses is there because of pressure from MEPs, it was not originally in the proposal. She has done a great job and won an important victory for the ordinary citizen.
“National governments – including Britain – have been too cautious and fearful in tackling the banks and the bonus culture head-on. Ordinary people needed elected MEPs to fight for them.”
Lib Dem Parliamentary spokesman, Cllr Heather Kidd, commented: “We have just heard that state-owned RBS has paid £600million in bonuses at the same time as making a loss of over £5billion last year.
“I find it outrageous that the Government, with 80% of the shares, has not stepped in. The Tory influence is clear and malign. It is another example of Brussels being better able to see what is right than Westminster; or at least the Tory part of it.”
“Many ordinary people are suffering falling living standards and real cuts in income – whether earnings or wages,” added Charlotte Barnes, Lib Dem councillor for Bishop’s Castle.
“A cap on bonuses is just a small step in the right direction. These bankers seem immune from the harsh realities of the real world. Bob Diamond, the ex-boss of Barclays who left under a cloud, apparently drew more than £20million pounds! The gap between the super- rich and the rest of Britain, let alone ordinary people in Shropshire, is frankly unbelievable and dangerous.”
Dr Bennion concluded: “We expect the debate between Cameron’s friends in the City and the rest to continue. The EU is trying hard to win better regulation of the banking industry. Britain’s Conservatives, led by Cameron and Boris Johnson, are fighting against this.
“Yet it was weak regulation (and complacent and weak regulators) that allowed the banks to plunge us into this desperate financial crisis in the first place.”