On 15 January the Labour Party asked parliament to vote in favour of a motion calling for David Cameron and George Osborne to veto any attempt by publicly-owned bank RBS to pay their bankers bonuses of more than double their salaries.
Despite the bank continuing to make losses and people across Leeds seeing their wages fall in real terms while bankers’ bonuses soar, Mr Mulholland and his Tory and Lib Dem colleagues voted down the motion.
European laws brought in after the global economic crisis prohibit banks from paying bonuses of more than double basic salaries unless shareholders give them permission to do so. As the government is the majority shareholder in RBS, the Chancellor would have the power to veto any such move at the bank.
But Greg Mulholland and 303 of his Coalition colleagues including 44 Lib Dem MPs chose to side with bankers instead.
Alex Sobel said:
“David Cameron has refused to rule out approving bonuses of up to 200 per cent at RBS.
“Time and time again the Lib Dems claim to be keeping the government in the centre ground diluting the Tories, but time and time again in practice they do the opposite.
“Greg Mulholland would rather vote with Conservatives to protect London bankers’ rights to receive up to 200 percent of their annual salary in bonuses than act to tackle the cost of living crisis his constituents are struggling with.
“It’s not even as if RBS is doing well – they’re still making losses and businesses across Leeds North West are telling me that getting loans from any of the banks is incredibly difficult.
“The Prime Minister’s promise of a cap on total remuneration is a complete red herring because RBS is cutting another 2,000 jobs in its investment bank and many executives were paid bonuses worth more than 100 per cent of their salary last year.”
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