WHEN George Osborne starts offering more money to poor people, it’s a sure sign the Tories are getting worried.
The Chancellor tried to upstage Ed Miliband’s speech on banking reform on Friday by announcing, in advance, that he planned to restore the real-terms value of the national minimum wage by raising it to £7 an hour. And about time too. Those four million souls on this miserable remuneration should never have been made to pay the cost of the bank bail-outs of 2008.
However, the announcement was more about politics than fairness. The Coalition realised that Ed Miliband’s call to reject Royal Bank of Scotland’s latest excessive bonuses, and to break up the monopoly banks, was going down rather well with the voters. Even 80% of Tory voters, according to YouGov, oppose the RBS bonuses.
Under EU rules, major shareholders must agree employee bonuses which are more than 100% of basic salary. The Government is the major shareholder in RBS, owning 81%. Yet, David Cameron last week refused to block bank boss Ross McEwan’s bonuses of 200% for Royal Bank executives. Cameron put a cap on the RBS bonus pool of £607 million – the same as last year – but didn’t say how it should be distributed.
Article in The Herald. Click here to read on.