Skip to main content

Bankers' bonuses and the 'bedroom tax'

I have heard all sorts of interesting justifications for the size of bankers bonuses, some reasonable, others downright tendentious. But the justification I heard today just about trumps them all; we shouldn't regulate bankers' bonuses because 'they pay for welfare'!

This appears to be the new line, and the Prime Minister used it in today's PMQs; no doubt it will become a mantra and we will hear it repeated. It is the kind of justification we hear often from this government. We mustn't regulate the rich because 1) they will go elsewhere and 2) their taxes pay for welfare. Thus the richer we allow them to become, no matter how obscene and unjustifiable in terms of productivity or effort, the more we have for welfare.

So, the wealthy are allowed to hold us all to ransom with their potential tantrums and threats take their expertise abroad. It is time we called their bluff. The newspapers should have the same attitude to such ransom as they often do to train-drivers when they threaten to strike for more pay; outrage.

How quickly Mr Cameron has changed his tune over bankers bonuses. In 2011 he was calling them 'obscene', now he is prepared to justify them because 'they pay for welfare'. It is as absurd a position as he has adopted about taxing the wealthy. Tax for the wealthy has almost become voluntary; a charitable gesture for which we must be grateful.

Mr Cameron objected vociferously to the use of the term 'bedroom tax'. He got very cross about it. It isn't a tax he shouted in the House of Commons. Well of course he is right; it isn't a tax. But its impact is the same as if it was. I wouldn't call it a tax; it is much more a penalty. It is a 'bedroom penalty'. Whatever it is called it all has the effect of driving more families deeper into poverty, and because it deprives them of household 'income' I would say it is in its effect, well....a tax.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Palm Oil production killing the planet

Bad trade and bad products are killing our planet. We have said this before on The Thin End. There is no better example than that of palm oil. It is used ubiquitously in so many products, and its production is a major factor destroying rainforests and threatening precious species.

Demand for palm oil is 'skyrocketing worldwide'. It is used in packaging and in so much of our snack foods, cookies, crackers, chocolate products, instant noodles, cereals, and doughnuts, and the list goes on.
Bad for the planet So, why is this so bad for the planet?

The oil is extracted from the fruit of the oil palms native to Africa. It is now grown primarily in Indonesia and Malaysia, but is also expanding across Central and West Africa and Latin America.

Palm oil production is now one of the world's leading causes of rainforest destruction, and this is impacting adversely some of the world's most culturally and biologically diverse ecosystems. Irreplaceable wildlife species like t…

Time to ban organophosphate pesticides?

How would you react if your neighbour told you he was going to spray his garden with a neurotoxin used in WW2? "Oh don't worry!" he assures you, "it's only a low dose!"
"A neurotoxin?" you ask incredulously "Are you crazy?"
"It's very effective!" he asserts.
"How does it work?" you ask.
"It stops the pests' brains working" he asserts with a smile.  "Everyone uses it."
"But..."

Campaigners in the USA hope that with Scott Pruitt’s resignation, and with a new administrator Andrew Wheeler at the helm of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), this presents another chance to apply pressure and achieve a national ban in the United States on the organophosphate pesticide chlorpyrifos once and for all.



Organophosphate insecticides, such as diazinon, chlorpyrifos, disulfoton, azinphos-methyl, and fonofos, have been used widely in agriculture and in household applications as pesticides si…

Hummingbird exposure to pesticides

Many have responded to the campaigns to stop the use of pesticides killing bees.  Bees are not the only animals affected.

Hummingbirds are noted as a species of conservation concern by Partners in Flight, and their populations are estimated to have declined by 60% between 1970 and 2014.



New research reveals that hummingbirds and bumble bees are being exposed to neonicotinoid and other pesticides through routes that are widespread and complex. The findings are published in Environmental Toxicology & Chemistry.

To measure exposure to pesticides in these avian pollinators, investigators made novel use of cloacal fluid and fecal pellets from hummingbirds living near blueberry fields in British Columbia. They also collected bumble bees native to Canada, and their pollen, and blueberry leaves and flowers from within conventionally sprayed and organic blueberry farms.

The researchers detected pesticides and related compounds in cloacal fluid and fecal pellets of hummingbirds revealing…