Sayeeda Warsi perfectly sums up Tory hypocrisy on bankers’ bonuses and public sector pay on BBC Question Time

Even Tory peers recognise the government is hypocritical

Sayeeda Warsi

Tory peer Sayeeda Warsi has explained clearly the government’s hypocrisy on inflation and pay. She did so on the most recent episode of BBC Question Time broadcast from Bradford.

On the show, the panel was asked about the government’s recent decision to scrap the cap on bankers’ bonuses. Prime minister Rishi Sunak inherited the policy from his predecessor Liz Truss and has been widely criticised for enacting the policy during a cost of living crisis.

On Question Time, Warsi made this exact point.

She started by setting out the context in which the bonus cap was initially introduced: “This particular cap was brought in after the 2008 financial crash when banks were seen to be working in a way which was like casino banking, and bankers were taking huge risks with people’s money which eventually resulted in the financial crash and countries all across the world had to bail out banks with taxpayers’ money.”

She went on to argue that the bonus cap itself was already extremely generous, telling the audience: “And off the back of that, it was felt appropriate within the European Union to say that these bankers should not be getting these excessive bonuses and therefore we should cap them. And let’s not forget what was agreed – these bonuses are capped at 100 per cent of the banker’s salary. So if a banker is on £50,000, he can get an extra £50,000 in his pay packet.”

She continued: “I think if you said to anybody in this country that you can have a bonus which is your salary all over again, they would think they were quids in. And so we therefore have to say – why did the government do this?”

In finishing her response, Warsi went on to highlight how the government’s hypocrisy has been exposed by the policy. She contrasted the government’s policy on bankers’ bonuses with to its response to public sector workers’ pay demands.

Warsi said: “I find it really shocking […] at a time when the prime minister is saying to public sector workers we cannot increase your salaries because we’re trying to get our first priority of getting inflation under control. So we can’t put more money into nurses’ pockets because we think that will have an inflationary pressure, but we can put more money into really rich bankers’ pockets because that won’t affect inflation.”

When even peers on the government benches are pointing out Tory hypocrisy, perhaps it’s time for them to think again…

Chris Jarvis is head of strategy and development at Left Foot Forward

Comments are closed.