Are we really all in this together?

(Letter to the South Wales Evening Post)

Sir,

On the day that VAT was increased to 20%, the government also announced a bank levy that will ensure banks make a “fair contribution in respect of the potential risks they pose to the UK financial system”. (Evening Post, page 2, 5 January).

This levy will raise £2.5 billion per annum; as opposed to the £13 billion predicted from the VAT increase.

There is general agreement that the current financial crisis is the result of greedy and irresponsible bankers speculating with our money in order to increase their profits and bonuses. Yet they are only expected to contribute less than one quarter of the amount to be raised directly from hard working taxpayers. Taxpayers whose money was previously used to bale out the failing banking system.

No doubt this levy will be “absorbed” by the banks in the form of increased charges and manipulation of interest rates, in order to protect future profits and bonuses. Despite the fact that we are entering a period of unprecedented austerity, bank bonuses are already back to pre-crisis levels.

And we now hear that the bosses of the top 100 UK companies have had their income and benefits increased by an average of 55% in the last year; while their hard pressed customers have lost count of the number of whammies we will face from cuts to public services, job losses, pay freezes, rising prices, the VAT increases, etc.

We may all be in this together, but it seems some of us are more in it than others.

Yours,

Keith M Ross
Green Party Assembly Candidate
South Wales West

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