I took part in the debate on bankers' bonuses. These tripled Under Labour and are now a fifth of what they were. This Government has acted to regulate the banks and increase competition. The permanent bank levy introduced by the Conservatives is expected to raise £2.9 billion in 2015-16.
SPEECH - Charlie: It is a pleasure to follow Helen Goodman, as I did last week. I hope that there will also be sufficient time to allow my hon. Friend David Mowat to follow me. I shall therefore try to ensure that my remarks are more to the point than they might otherwise have been.
I have always been a strong believer in having diversity and competition in the banking system, and I share the concern expressed by many that we have an oligopoly in our system. That is not healthy; there is not enough choice or competition. We need more competition, and I personally would be quite radical and ensure that the banks were separated up to a greater extent than they are today. It is also a concern that the establishment of the banking system in this country has meant that the banks are too big to fail. We could cure that by having depositor preference, because it would then be a matter for the bondholders, who would be much more interested in ensuring that the banks behaved and did not overpay bonuses.
What will not work is Members of this House pontificating about bonuses and what the bonus levels should be; waving a magic wand and saying that they should be this, that and the other; and trying to micro-manage banking business from afar. What makes it even worse is the way the previous Government carried on and the shameless hypocrisy of the Labour party that we have heard today. Let us not forget that the forex and LIBOR scandals happened under the previousLabour Government. Our Government have sorted out the regulatory system and have been cleaning up the mess. Under the previous Government bonuses tripled in four years and £66 billion of bonuses were paid out. The Labour party wishes to forget that. Fred Goodwin became Sir Frederick Goodwin then, and honours, baubles, bonuses and bag slaps were scattered around happily in those days. Labour now wishes to forget that. Under our Government bonuses are now a fifth of what they were then. The rest of my sppech can be read at this link.
It has been an honour and privilege to serve as Member of Parliament for Dover & Deal. I hope to be re-elected to serve our community for another term.
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