Connected Research

Union policy research in the 21st century

Some big (and some not so big) numbers

with one comment

1. £850,000,000,000 – the cost of taxpayer financial support for an otherwise collapsing banking sector assessed and detailed today by the National Audit Office. The actual amount committed so far is actually £131bn – the rest will fall due if it all gangs agley (again) and the sheltered assets need the protection of the guarantees staked on them. Which it won’t, because of big number No. 2:

2. 5,000 – the number of senior executives working in the banking sector which Lord Myners told the House of Lords yesterday are likely to receive a ‘remuneration package’ this year of £1,000,000 (or more): clearly, such awards must mean that everything is rosy in the garden again. Myners is writing to the NAPF, the CBI and the TUC to ask them to use their influence to persuade fund managers to stop these ‘unreasonable and unjustified levels of remuneration’. Nils Pratley in The Guardian today is calling for a windfall tax on executive bonuses.

3. 5p in the pound – what creditors of Farepak, including ordinary families who had committed an average of £400 in hard-earned cash, and some over £2,000, received (starting from October 2009) following the collapse of Farepak (in October 2006) after some ill-advised financial engineering following which HBOS (oh yes) called in the company’s overdraft. The commercial fund set up to support Farepak creditors, including families, raised just £6m – far short of what was anticipated and likely to have provided an earlier (additional) sum of just 15p in the pound.

A windfall tax on (at least) £5bn (though not all of this is bonus) is likely to raise a substantial sum, provided it is set at a punitive level. I can think of some worthwhile uses for it, too.

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Written by Calvin

04/12/2009 at 12:50 pm

One Response

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  1. so we allow unlimited bonuses and tax them at 90% to cover the deficite. sounds like the wisdom of soloman (brothers)??

    raymondhumphreys

    07/12/2009 at 10:53 am


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