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9 February 2009

Barrett slams banking bonus culture

John Barrett, Liberal Democrat MP for Edinburgh West, today called on the Government to take action to immediately freeze all bank bonuses.

So far, Ministers have called for bankers to voluntarily give up their bonuses, but Mr Barrett is urging the Government to follow the lead of the Obama Administration in taking a tougher line with the banks.

The Edinburgh West MP was speaking as banking bosses from RBS and other major banks appeared in front of the House of Commons Treasury Select Committee to answer questions about their role in the global banking collapse.

Mr Barrett said:

“Hard work does deserve to be rewarded. However, for huge bonuses to be paid to bankers whose jobs would have been lost had it not been for huge injection of public money, would be an insult to taxpayers across the country.

“For Ministers to ask bank bosses to voluntarily give up their bonuses is a very limp and belated reaction to the scandal of banking bonuses, compared with that of the Obama administration.

“The Government must immediately freeze all bonus payments for employees of semi-nationalised banks and ensure that the pay details of those earning over £100,000 a year are published.

“To protect taxpayers, ministers must plan to split retail banking on the high street from the very high risk investment banking operations which have accumulated so much toxic debt.”

“To restore public confidence and trust in the banking sector the Government must create a new bonus framework which ensures they are linked to long-term performance, payable in shares that are not redeemable within five years.”

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This website was established while I was a Member of Parliament. The site content is being kept online as a source of information, but all forms / email have been disabled.