City bonuses at all-time high despite economic downturn

Trade union GMB have criticised record city bonuses of £12.6 billion for the first three month †as being unreflective of the uncertain economic climate and “defy economic gravity”.

Figures from the Office of National Statistics show that the average weekly bonuses given to 1.04 million financial workers in the UK have risen steadily from £139.90 in December 2007 to £1,312.80 in February 2008. Although the average weekly reward dropped to £722.90 in March, bonus payments for the first three months of the 2008 totalled a record £12.6 billion.†

GMB wants to know whether the £50 billion given to banks from the the Bank of England, to increase liquidity and protect the rest of the economy from the credit crunch, was used to fund to fund these rewards.

Paul Kenny, general secretary of GMB, said: “There can no longer be any doubt that the multi-millionaire elite who run the City and the financial sector are out of control and divorced from economic realities facing their fellow citizens.

“GMB wants an urgent enquiry as to whether the £50 billion bail out to banks from the taxpayer is being used to fund these bonuses that defy economic gravity. ”