A Green MEP has said chancellor George Osborne’s decision to challenge a cap on all bankers’ bonuses awarded from 2014 at a year’s basic salary is cause for concern and would put financial stability at risk.
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The case is being heard in the European Court of Justice on Monday. The UK Treasury argued the cap –which will forbid the payment of a bonus in excess of 100% of fixed pay – has been “rushed through without a proper impact assessment”.
However, Molly Scott Cato, Green MEP for South West England and a member of the European Parliament’s Economic and Monetary Affairs Committee, said, “In the wake of the most serious banking crisis for a century it is of deep concern to see the chancellor resisting democratically agreed and entirely common-sense proposals to make banking less risky and to challenge the culture of excessive pay in Europe’s financial services sector.
“The special treatment that Osborne has shown to the wealthy in general and financiers in particular is becoming almost legendary but this puts us all of risk of further financial instability and risk-taking for which we will be asked to pick up the tab.”
The EU measure was proposed by the Green Party, which has just gone through its Autumn party conference, discussing how to be the real opposition to both the government and the Labour party at next year’s general election.
Caroline Lucas MP said during her speech the current government is threatening the welfare and a low-carbon future.
“What I want to speak about today, very briefly and very specifically, is the importance of keeping our seat in parliament. Because it is the Green Party which is the true opposition at Westminster,” she said.
“With the days of husky-hugging long over, with a government that talks openly of getting rid of ‘green crap’, offering tax breaks for fracking, boasting of getting ‘every last drop of oil’ from the North Sea, even as climate change accelerates, the promotion of Green alternatives has never been more pressing.”
The Green’s leader Natalie Bennett added that the party’s memebrship increased by 28% this year.
“Voters are desperate for alternatives to the three business-as-usual parties. Voters increasingly understand that our current model is broken, our economy and society are failing to meet our needs, and our way of life consumes the resources of three planets“, she said.
“The Green Party has a vision of a new Britain, a Britain in which fear is replaced with real hope for the future, in which we can be confident our children and grandchildren will have a secure, decent life, have jobs they can build their lives on, have a social safety net in case they need it, and a natural world they can enjoy and rely on.”
Photo: underclassrising.net via flickr