Saturday, September 19, 2009

Time to get savage with City bonuses

Nick Clegg's interview in the Guardian this morning will be remembered for his "In some cases we will be quite bold, or even savage, on current spending".

However severe the public sector deficit, I think that could have been better put.

But what struck me more was Nick's floating of the idea of means testing child benefit. On the one hand, the paper says he is cautious of destroying "middle-class solidarity" with the welfare state. On the other:

"I find it odd that people on multi-million pay packages from the city get child benefit. That's patently silly and patently unfair."
I think he had it right the first time. Bringing on a stage army of multi millionaires to scare people into opposing the commitment to universal child benefit does not look good politics to me.

If we are concerned about the size of pay packages in the financial sector we might look at more effective regulation. Unfortunately, Nick was quick to say he disagreed with Lord Turner's call for taxation to be used to curb excessive bonuses in the City.

Speaking personally, it would not trouble me if we were savage with the financial sector.

Later. Paul Waugh is sound on this too.


David from Ealing said...

I agree. At least that would appear balanced. I'm beginning to be a bit concerned about the messages coming from the south coast.

dreamingspire said...

Don't we find that far too often these days? 'Could be better put', I mean. Certainly I find it in dealings with civil servants and a few quangos. Lord Bonkers should think about it: the poor quality of presentation in politics and in too much of the public sector. And I have been reading some stuff from consultants to the public sector: dreadful errors. This is a time when the media will take every opportunity to twist the utterances, and the bloggers delight in fisking them, so its time to do better.