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Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Brown Bottles It

Unsurprisingly Gordon Brown has bottled it when it comes to subjecting the banks to a windfall tax to punish them for paying excessive bonuses.

Lawyers have warned the government that any legislation passed would be unworkable. Hardly unexpected advice, given the fact that much of the legalisation passed by Labour since it came to power has been poorly drafted and full of holes; which in itself is rather ironic given the number of layers in the party.

Brown has pulled his normal "McCafferty's cat" act and told the banks that it is up to them to ensure that they were acting appropriately.

The government and taxpayer should not be too peeved at the bonuses, given the 50% rate of tax coming in next year the Treasury is expecting a "bonus" of its own of around £2BN from the tax raised on bankers' bonuses.

Pay caps and pay freezes, as Labour should remember from its previous times in office don't work. Any attempt to impose pay limits on bankers would simply push them offshore, to the detriment of the economy.

Like it or not, the economy needs the bankers.

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