Blair's wealth gap: voters want City bonus curb | Uk News | News | Telegraph
Sunday, February 18, 2007
Link: Blair's wealth gap: voters want City bonus curb | Uk News | News | Telegraph.
So 73% of the British people think they have a right to decide how others spend their money. Isn't that what "something should be done" means in this context? Living in post-Communist countries for fifteen years I have regularly heard Western experts explain that respect for property rights and for freedom of contract are the essentials of a free society. They are right, but even as former Communists strive towards that understanding, the battle of ideas is being lost in Britain.
The City of London is a legacy centre of excellence in an otherwise mediocre nation. It competes on a global scale, attracting talent from all over the world. It is handicapped by the poor infrastructure of London, its high costs of living and the perception (not helped by London's mayor being a fan of Castro and a supporter of terrrorists) that it is a hostile political environment. It is a filthy, unpleasant and dangerous place to work. Operating costs are high, not because of salaries and bonuses, but because of taxes, property costs and costs of compliance with (mostly unnecessary) laws. To run a big business in the City (as anywhere in Britain) you must employ many costly drones to interface with Government and regulators and to collect taxes for the Treasury.
There is no particular reason that London should be Europe's financial capital. The real City is not a square mile of land in the capital of a once-important nation. It is a collection of people and equipment which could easily be moved to any decent-sized city in Europe. If that happens, the incomes of envious Brits will suffer in absolute, not relative, terms.
This is one of the topics which really gets on my goat. Completely agree with your analysis and the politics of envy of a non-existent situation is galling. My experience of these guys is that they work their butts off, as managers do too. The City shouldn't just get bonuses, they should have incremental increases, higher than the costs of operation. That way, there'd be an incentive for the best talent to stay on. 73% of people are wrong.
Posted by: James Higham | Tuesday, February 20, 2007 at 10:37 AM
As with all these things it's all in the presentation. The questions asked led to the results which is why they are so polarised.
Posted by: Dave Petterson | Monday, February 19, 2007 at 05:38 PM
It never ceases to amaze me how hypocritical many people are. Not one single soul earning a salary in this country would countenance his neighbour telling him how he should spend one penny of his money. But 73% of us think it's OK for "somebody else" to be told how to spend it. What people need to understand is that this money eventually filters down into our society, enriching other members of it. I wonder if the citizens of Coventry would rather have a motor industry back in their city, even if a few top executives were awarded big bonuses? Finally, I agree Tom - in this day and age there is nothing nailing these banks and other institutions to the City of London. If China wanted to pull all this back to Hong Kong, it would have no trouble at all. Watch this space...
Posted by: John Miller | Monday, February 19, 2007 at 11:26 AM
I should really post on this myself. However, the whole idea is so benighted and idiotic I might end up as a swearblogger.
However, this is all just mood music to keep the lefties quiet in the Labour party.
Posted by: cityunslicker | Sunday, February 18, 2007 at 11:32 PM
Personally, I think this is just a "warm-up". The staff or City employers obviously won't pay the money to charity. The Blair/Brown Government will then "have to step in" by introducing a higher rate of tax.
Then will follow all the dangers Tom has pointed out in his main posting.
And will that higher rate of tax be set to start at the level to affect just those 4,200? [That would be somewhere between £1M and £2M.]
Well, as they will be gone and the Government will still need the money, ...
Posted by: Nigel Sedgwick | Sunday, February 18, 2007 at 11:16 AM