Following recent criticism expressed by business chiefs of the government's plan to increase NI contributions, the Chief Executive Officers of the nationalised banks have written an open letter to the Financial Times, offering to pay all of the added levy for every taxpayer in the UK. The letter, signed by some of the City of London's leading heavyweights, including Lord Marmaduke Poindersister and Sir Christopher Mirandapopolous, outlines how bankers will voluntarily proffer a percentage of their bonuses to the Treasury to cover the NI increase and give the country the financial kick-start it needs.
Stated the letter...
We recognise that in these difficult times it is only proper for all good men to come to the aid of the country...notwithstanding the unfortunate lack of prudence shown by a large section of the populace in failing to save adequately while borrowing beyond their means, we must recognise that the nation stands or falls together and sacrifices must be shared.
It is believed the move will add a further £155 billion to the Treasury's coffers, amounting to 0.001% of the national debt. The publicly-owned banks will generate the contributions from the upward bonus adjustments applied to bankers salaries this year, as a so-called 'golden goosing' reward for the increased responsibility of managing government bail-out cash. Said Sir Christopher:
Bankers are not used to dealing with these tangible cash amounts. It is exceedingly burdensome to manage real money when you are used to futurised virtualities and shortstock-barreling hedge-spreads. Of course we need to set bonus levels appropriately in order to retain experts with the expertise to spend the public's money wisely. It shows that the spirit of the Blitz is alive and trading in the City when these philanthropic heroes are willing to each give 2.5% of their hard-earned additional bonus payments to help the country. We owe them more than can be expressed in mere words and I think that over the forthcoming year it will of course be necessary to increase bonus payments to reflect the calibre of the individuals we now have at the helm of the economy.
Shadow Chancellor, Georgie Osbourne declined to comment on the announcement until the markets open, however the Chancellor, Alistair Darling, said:
The country owes a significant debt to Lord Poindersister and Sir Christopher and all the other bankers already. This generous gesture shows just how much we will always be in their debt."