In news that will anger a lot of people, banks look set to give their staff the biggest bonuses since the 2007-08 financial crash. At a time when the rest of us face a huge cost of living crisis, the banks’ actions will probably turn your stomach.
Bankers: laughing all the way to the…
The Guardian reported on bankers’ bonuses and pay. It noted that:
- Mergers and acquisitions bankers got fees of £2.6bn in 2021. These bankers advise on company mergers.
- HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds and NatWest are “expected” to say they’re paying out £4bn in bonuses.
- 3,519 UK bankers earned more than £835,000 in 2021.
- NatWest is expected to announce £4bn in profit for 2021 – while the public still own over 50% of it.
- Overall, banks profits are expected to be £34bn – the highest since 2007.
Meanwhile, the rest of us are in the shit.
A crisis for the rest of us
As The Canary previously reported, the UK is facing its biggest cost of living crisis in recent years:
- 2.5 million families are struggling to pay rent and heat their homes.
- 15% of households live in food insecurity.
- 4% of households have used a foodbank.
In the coming months, things will get worse:
- The Department for Work and Pensions is making a real terms cut to people’s social security.
- Inflation is predicted to hit 7%.
- Energy companies are putting prices up by over £600 a year.
- The Tories are hiking national insurance by over 10%.
- Over two million people could be destitute – the most extreme form of poverty.
Of course, all this comes after a decade of austerity – one which the bankers caused.
A decade of chaos
Successive governments cut 14% of all public sector spending in the last decade. This hit people reliant on social security particularly hard. Because Tory reform of the Department for Work and Pensions in 2016 led to policies like the:
- Benefit cap: £1.62bn cut.
- Benefit freeze: £10.2bn cut; 30% of households saw a reduction in money.
- Two child limit: £5.35bn cut, affecting 3.8 million families.
- “Abolition of £30 a week support for disabled people who were unfit for work (ESA WRAG)”: £1.365bn cut, affecting half a million disabled and sick people.
But clearly, none of this matters to the richest people in the UK. Because while bankers are getting huge bonuses, the Tories also recently gave the banks a tax cut. It shows that shocking inequality still exists in the UK. And it also shows that our country is still one of the ‘haves’ and ‘have nots’.
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