Pay off the scale

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Many of us will not be surprised at the “utterly staggering” pay increases and total sums awarded by bankers to bankers (your report and editorial, 30 November), six years after Northern Rock’s demise began the banking shambles.

After all, we have a coalition high on rhetoric but low on action which has perversely managed to increase the complexities of our tax and benefits system, resulting in marginal effective tax rates of no less than 73 per cent imposed on those middle-income earners on whom our economic recovery depends; and run by an HMRC which turned a blind eye on MPs’ remuneration-by-expenses and agrees sweetheart deals with multi-nationals.

They are following the lead of Labour ministers who omitted to ensure as a pre-condition of the bail-outs, on their effective bankruptcy, that RBS and HBoS pensions would be limited to the £27,000 per annum applying by law to all other bankrupt firms.

The saving grace is that such awards are, we hope, fully taxed in the UK at 45 per cent (down from 50 per cent) and that the top 1 per cent of “earners” are paying 30 per cent of all the UK’s income tax receipts; but with, as well as your concerns, the downside of increasing sky-high house prices in London to add fuel to the fire begun by global oligarchs.

John Birkett

Horseleys Park

St Andrews