As Britain's coalition government slashes spending and jobs in a widely-criticised austerity drive, the nation’s bankers are set to award themselves £7 billion in bonuses this year.
There has been hardly a pipsqueak form the Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition which, incidentally, is chock full of millionaires. They say sacrifices have to be made to get the economy back on track, but it seems it is ordinary people who are shouldering the burden.
The have-nots and have-lesses
It is estimated that over 1.3 million people – 500,000 in the public sector – will lose their jobs as a result of the cuts. University tuition fees will be hiked threefold to £9,000 a year, while the welfare budget will be slashed.
The failure, or refusal, by the government to order the bankers to get their snouts out of the troughs at a time of increasing hardships for working people should not come as a surprise for a government which will not close tax loopholes for non-domiciles.
Even as they slash £84 billion from the budget over four years, they are turning a blind eye to tax evasion, which some analysts say defrauds the state of over £70 billion every year. You get the point when you learn that tax exiles such as Lord Ashcroft are major donors to the Conservative party.
This is another index that what is unfolding is an assault on the have-nots and have-lesses in a class war being prosecuted by generals the people themselves elected last May.
The case of the bankers awarding themselves phone-number bonuses is particularly galling because they were failed enterprises that had to be bailed out by taxpayer funds.
Previous governments could say the banks were independent, profit-making actors in the market economy and could not be told what to do. This government does not have that excuse, for the very simple reason that the banks are now owned by the taxpayer.