The 4% drop from last year’s payout has been put down to fewer people working in the financial sector – but, according to an estimate by the CEBR, there are still 100,000 workers, each of whom stand to receive about £70,000. More, actually, considering support staff like PAs and cleaners, who will get a fraction of that figure, are counted among that estimate. And as the sector recovers, that pot is expected to grow, reaching £7.4bn next year, £7.8bn in 2012, £8.8bn in 2013 and nearly £10bn in 2014.
But those anticipating disparaging headlines may be disappointed, because thanks to the Government’s 50% tax on incomes over £150,000, the state stands to reap more from the City’s rewards than its workers do, raking in about £4.1bn and leaving employees with just £3.8bn. It’s still not exactly a pittance – but given the number of hours bankers tend to put in, we doubt they’ll see it that way.
Meanwhile, RBS chairman Sir Philip Hampton has been increasing his popularity among employees by pointing out that some of them probably aren’t worth their bonuses. At a conference about restoring trust in the industry (but not, clearly, in himself) at Mansion House yesterday, he told delegates that while cutting pay and bonuses would mean the bank loses some of its best staff, ‘I’m sure that we’re paying many people who aren’t worth it’. Nice.
That said, banks aren’t happy with the bonus tax situation, and those who aren’t talking about moving off-shore are looking at other ways to side-step it. So it looks like this new-found boost for taxpayers may be short-lived.