Gordon Brown and chancellor Alistair Darling are talking tough on bankers. Darling is even promising a “super tax” on their bonuses to try to calm public anger.
But the banks have taken £850 billion in bailouts this year. Soon the total will be measured in trillions.
If Darling goes ahead with a one-off windfall tax, he could announce it one lunchtime and will already have handed the £1 billion raised back to the banks by the end of that day.
The reality is that New Labour is doing nothing to challenge the power of its friends in the City.
This week top bosses at the nationalised RBS bank threatened to resign if they didn’t get the massive bonuses they’re used to.
The board of the 85 percent publicly owned bank said they would quit unless they could pay out £1.5 billion in bonuses.
Some individual bankers at RBS are in line to pocket as much as £15 million.
We own RBS. The greedy bankers should have been sacked. But the government refused to confront them.
Even with the new tax proposals, these fat cats will still pay a smaller percentage of their wealth in tax than the workers who clean their offices.
The banks say that “top talent” will leave if they don’t pay the bonuses.
But the only thing these bankers are “talented” at is throwing billions into a black hole and sipping the finest champagne at our expense.
It is the millions of ordinary working people who really create the wealth in the world.
Yet while the bankers fill their boots and gamble our money away in the casino of the “free market”, politicians of every stripe tell us we have to “tighten our belts” and pay for the crisis.
We should tell them where to stick it.
All the bankers should get the sack – and the rich should be hit with huge taxes to fund jobs and public services.