City fat cats should be made to donate most of their huge bonuses to charities and poor people, according to a leading politician.
Peter Hain, Northern Ireland secretary and a potential candidate for Labour party leadership, said the annual City bonus system was creating “grotesque” inequality, and that business should act now or risk bigger taxes in the future.
Hain told the Sunday Telegraph: “There’s a real problem of people on average incomes feeling there’s a sort of super-rich class right at the top. We’ve lost a sense of moral corporate responsibility here.
“That sort of thing creates a society where you start getting envy being promoted and a sense of real antagonism, and that breeds all sorts of socially undesirable behaviour.”
Some 4,200 City workers are set to receive bonuses of more than £1m each this year – an estimated £8.8bn.
Hain said: “I don’t believe that people will only work in the City because they get those sort of bonuses. They don’t need to offer them. Why don’t they give two-thirds of that £8.8bn and invest it in charity, or invest it in regeneration schemes for unemployed kids who are living a mile away from the opulence that there is in the City?”