Wednesday, 9 December 2009

Purge The Soul

He's only gone and done it.

Alistair Darling has bared his teeth and swiped with his mighty paws at the City bankers to assuage the public's anger and try to win some votes. In doing so, he claimed it was not about the money but was a deterrent to stop banks paying excessive bonuses.

That's certainly going to work, right? Certainly, our souls are purged - not only can we feel satisfied that bankers have suffered for their follies, but we now see that the Government has distanced itself so far from the greedy City spivs that we can no longer believe that ministers had any culpability for our financial mess as surely they would not have punished them if they had endorsed what they were doing? Believe that and you believe I am Tiger Woods - let's not go there.

So the banks will have to pay 50% of any individual bonus over £25,000 as a levy - not the individual, and there are anti-avoidance measures already in place. Indeed, there must be as Mr. Darling has told us there are.

Curiously, among all the £billions contained in bonus pools, it is alleged the tax will only raise £550m which can go toward unemployment. Just as well, because in the great scheme of things £550m is hardly going to make a dent in the damage the bankers caused. The chances that it will deter them from doing the same thing again are about the same as for me surviving 5 rounds with Frank Bruno.

This is headline grabbing tosh. Bankers will be laughing all the way to new pay packets and bonuses.

Meanwhile, down here below Wonderland, National Insurance goes up 0.5% which probably raises more than the tax on bankers - shows that headline - grabbing taxes are just that.

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