Bonus payouts in banking and finance totalled £14 billion in 2011.
Most of these bonuses go to a top few. The government-owned Royal Bank of Scotland paid out £1 billion in 2011, when it had made a thumping loss, and plans to pay out £0.5 billion this year. Having persuaded top RBS boss Simon Hester to waive his £1 million bonus, prime minister David Cameron now says he “will not micro-manage” the bonuses paid to other RBS chiefs this year, some of them much higher than Hester's million. He hopes the fuss will have died down by the time other banks announce their bonuses.
If those amounts were redirected to social spending, they would be way more than enough to reverse all the Government's cuts. Benefit cuts to 2015: £18 billion. Cuts in education and local services: £16 billion.
The labour movement should demand that the next Labour government expropriate the banks and high finance.