Miliband urges fresh bonus tax

THE Labour party yesterday said Stephen Hester’s decision to forego his near £1m bonus must not be a “one-off episode” and called on the government to introduce new measures to crack down on high pay.

Labour leader Ed Miliband yesterday urged the coalition to adopt a bonus tax for bankers. He also called for a new law requiring a worker at every company to sit on the committee that decides how much executives are paid.

He said: “I don’t think this can be just a one-off episode, because if we don’t deal with this systematically, if we don’t deal with the issue of bankers’ bonuses in a proper way, this kind of thing is just going to re-occur.”

Labour has been emboldened by its part in forcing Hester to forego his bonus, especially after it used a similar threat of a House of Commons vote to make Rupert Murdoch drop his bid for BSkyB.

A Labour strategist told City A.M. the party thinks there is a high chance it could force the government to introduce some kind of bonus tax, especially as the pay packages of chief executives at privately-owned banks are revealed over the coming weeks.

Meanwhile, analysts yesterday said that RBS shares had become less attractive following the furore, because there was now a higher chance of further political meddling at a later date – making it less likely for the taxpayer to get a return on its investment.