Angry Brits have quickly jumped on the chancellor’s announcement to scrap the cap on banker bonuses by sharing memes about notorious fat cats, including Gordon Gekko.
Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng set out on Friday a series of measures in his so-called mini-budget, including abolishing the top income tax rate for the highest earners, removing the cap on bankers’ bonuses and adding restrictions to the social security system.
As of April, the 629,000 earners who receive more than £150,000 a year will no longer pay the highest income tax rate of 45%, but will instead pay the 40% that applies to those with more than £50,271.
But the announcement has been met backlash amid fears there will be a return of a ‘culture of greed’ in the city as Britain suffers from a deepening crisis in the cost of living.
People immediately started sharing memes about bankers and high earners celebrating the announcement — including one featuring the fictional villain from the popular Oliver Stone movie “Wall Street,” Gordon Gekko, who has become a cultural symbol for greed.
Another shared a luxury holiday photo with the caption ‘what a time to be a millionaire or billionaire in the UK. Waiting for that drop to reach my bank account.’
Angry Brits have jumped on the chancellor’s announcement to scrap the limit on banker bonuses by sharing memes about notorious fat cats, including Gordon Gekko
Another tweeted “bankers in town now” and shared a meme of three dancing men in suits.
One meme showed a skeleton sitting on a couch with the caption “still waiting for the banker bonuses to trickle down.”
A sarcastic meme showed a photo of a tree, which read ‘there’s a magic money tree after all’ – which seems to refer to a comment made by former Prime Minister Theresa May in 2017, when she told a nurse who had not had a pay rise for eight year ‘there is no magic money tree’.
Mr Kwarteng’s controversial decision will remove the cap on bankers’ annual payouts – capped at 100% of their salary, or doubled with shareholder approval – introduced by the European Union after the 2008 financial crisis .
He insisted the move would encourage global banks to create jobs, invest and pay taxes in the city.
Paying out bonuses aligns individuals’ incentives with those of the bank, thus supporting the growth of the UK economy, the government added.
“All the bonus cap did was drive up bankers’ base salaries or stimulate activity outside of Europe,” the chancellor told the House of Commons when he unveiled the Treasury’s “mini-budget”.
UK Chancellor of the Exchequer Kwasi Kwarteng unveils budget plan against inflation in the House of Commons today
People were quick to respond to the announcement to cut bankers’ bonuses by sharing memes about the situation
In a series of key financial announcements on Friday, Mr. Kwarteng planned to cut the basic income tax rate to 19 pence a year in early April and cut stamp duties for home buyers.
He argued that tax cuts are “critical to solving the conundrum of growth,” as he confirmed plans to remove the cap on bankers’ bonuses while adding restrictions to the social security system.
But his plans have been criticized.
The super-rich are “laughing all the way to the actual bank,” Scotland’s prime minister has said.
According to shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves, Liz Truss and Kwasi Kwarteng are two “desperate gamblers looking for a lost point” with an economic plan that rewards the “already rich.”
The Labor frontbencher took aim at the Prime Minister and Chancellor when she warned that the government has been serving a ‘menu with no prices’, questioning what Mr Kwarteng has ‘hiding’ by not immediately granting independent predictions of his plans. stand.
She said Mr Kwarteng’s statement to the House of Commons had acted as a “comprehensive breakdown” of the Conservatives’ record in power over the past 12 years.
Ms Reeves told MPs: ‘We’ve had six so-called Conservative growth plans since 2010 – here they are, a litany of failures, each and every one of them.’
She said the government lacked a credible plan for achieving growth, adding: “The Prime Minister and the Chancellor are like two desperate gamblers in a casino looking for a lost point.
People have ridiculed the idea of ’trickle down economics’ after the mini-budget announcement
The Chancellor’s argument isn’t a great new idea or a game changer, as the minister said, as much as they’d like us to think.
“What this plan delivers is to keep corporate taxes where they are today, and bring the national insurance contributions back to where they were in March. A new plan.’
She added: “It’s all based on an outdated ideology that says that if we just reward those who are already rich, the whole society will benefit.”
“They have decided to replace leveling with trickle down.
“As (US) President Biden said this week, he is tired of the drip economy. And he is right. It has been discredited, it is inadequate and it will not unleash the investment wave we need.”
The Royal College of Nursing has described the mini-budget as one that “gave billions to bankers and nothing to nurses.”
General secretary and chief executive Pat Cullen said it was a clear sign that it was a government “with the wrong priorities.”
‘Nurses will be stunned by the decision to prioritize wealthy bankers over NHS and social care staff, some of whom use food banks and live on a financially tight edge.
“Ministers have benefited far too long from the goodwill of the nursing staff and we urge our members to vote in favor of strike action before 6 October.”
Michael Barnett, a partner at Quillon Law and who led lawsuits over high-profile banking scandals after the 2008 crisis, warned that the decision would risk reintroducing a culture of greed that predated the financial crash.
He said: ‘For many who were scarred by the effects of the 2008 global financial crisis and the banking scandals that accompanied it, the news that caps on bankers’ bonuses may be lifted will provoke a reaction bordering on visceral.
‘Bankers’ bonuses were seen as the symbol of an imploding financial services industry fueled by a culture based on greed and profit at any cost.
“Bonuses and other financial incentives were an important part of many claims that were brought to court, successful or not.”
Campaigners have pointed out that banker payouts will soar at a time when many households face rising costs of living and amid a series of strikes to raise wages.
Sharon Graham, union general secretary of Unite, said: ‘This mini-budget is unashamedly a budget for the rich, big business and the city – cutting the top income tax, cutting corporate taxes, ripping investment bankers’ bonuses.’
Government borrowing will increase by £72 billion as a result of Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s mini-budget, according to documents from the Ministry of Finance.
The Debt Management Office’s net borrowing requirement has been revised upwards from £161.7 billion in April to £234.1 billion.
It will be financed by additional gold-plated sales of £62.4 billion and net sales of treasury bills of £10 billion.