Bonuses: what Cameron said two years ago. Ahem...
The Mole: A pre-election promise on bank bonuses comes back to haunt the PM
AS THE MOLE argued six weeks ago when Ed Miliband was in the doldrums, what the man requires is a victory. Every successful political leader needs to look like a winner.
Tomorrow, he should get one at the Oldham East and Saddleworth by-election. All the pointers are that the Labour candidate, Debbie Abrahams, will win a greater majority than the very slim and dodgy one attained by Phil Woolas at the general election.
Which should give Labour a temporary respite at least from the media bashing of Red Ed and his "blunderful" (courtesy: the Sun) shadow chancellor, Alan Johnson.
Perhaps scenting victory, Ed was on strong ground today at PMQs when bankers' bonuses dominated proceedings.
Cameron had a good time mocking Johnson for his latest blunder (not knowing the rate at which employers pay National Insurance - 21 per cent) and pointing out that Ed was at the Treasury when the Labour government secured Fred Goodwin - the disgraced former chief executive of RBS - a knighthood for services to banking.
"That is why no one will ever trust Labour on banking or on the economy again," said the PM. "Alan Johnson cannot count and Miliband does not count."
A nice line, but Miliband had something stronger up his sleeve - a pre-election Tory promise on bankers' bonuses, which can still be found on the Conservative Party website, posted on February 15, 2009.
Headlined 'No bank bonuses over £2,200', it reads in part:
"David Cameron has stressed that no cash bonuses over £2,000 should be paid to any employee of a bank which has a significant taxpayer shareholding...
"And he attacked Gordon Brown for failing to put conditions in place to limit the bonuses paid by those banks that have taken taxpayers' money...
"Because of this dithering we could see bonuses being paid out for a second year to executives in taxpayer owned banks which is unacceptable.
"Putting the limit at £2,000 would mean bank tellers are not unfairly punished."
Yes, this is the same David Cameron who this week let it be known he had given up trying to lay down the law to bankers regarding their bonuses. Or, as a Downing Street spokesman put it, the PM did not wish to "micro-manage" the banks.
Assuming no one takes the post down, you can find the full version at conservatives.com. ·
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