UNISONActive is an unofficial blog produced by UNISON activists for UNISON activists. Bringing news, briefings and events from a progressive left perspective.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Robbing Pensioners of £15bn to Pay Bankers £14bn?

Local Government Pension Scheme pensioners have had £15billion stolen from them since April 2011. Why? Because the imposed change to CPI to increase their pensions had the effect of reducing payments to them by around £15 billion going forward to 2013.

Is it by design or coincidence that last year UK bankers were awarded £14bn in bonuses? Banks have failed to tackle the rampant City bonus culture that helped trigger the financial crisis, according to unions and anti-poverty campaigners, who pointed to official figures showing that the sector grabbed bonuses last year worth £14bn. http://www.guardian.co.uk/business/2011/jul/19/bonuses-executive-pay-banks

The Office for National Statistics said that banks and insurance companies paid 40% of all bonuses despite employing only 4% of the workforce.

Campaigners accused banks of ignoring the chancellor's pleas for lower payouts after the total payout recovered from £12bn in the depths of the recession. The average annual bonus paid to finance staff in the year to April was £12,500, against an average of £1,670 paid to all private-sector workers.

The £12,500 figure disguises huge disparities in the amounts paid to senior investment bankers compared with retail banking staff outside London and the south-east.

Barclays revealed this year that its new chief executive, Bob Diamond, received a bonus of £6.5m for 2010 on top of his £250,000 annual salary, although this included deferred shares. Stuart Gulliver, the boss of HSBC, was paid £9m last year, most of it in deferred shares bonuses.

A trend in some City institutions towards offsetting the effect of lower bonus payments with higher salaries has benefited many senior managers, according to a recent report by the recruitment firm Kennedy Associates. It found that an average investment bank managing director received £300,000 to £400,000 in base salary as opposed to £175,000 four years ago, at the peak of the market.

The average paid to finance staff also contrasts with the average public-sector annual bonus of £180. Public-sector employees, who make up 22% of the workforce, accounted for 1.5% of the £35bn bonus payments across the economy.

However, the real issues are clear despite the ongoing collapse of our economy and public services, public sector workers and their pensions are being forced to pay the price of the bankers misuse of their power to create money out of thin air.