"of course rewards for failure are unacceptable - and those who believe in the free market are the first to say so. but a strong, free market economy must be built on rewards for success."
so say george osborne.
to a large extent he is right - most people do not have a problem with high pay (except the daily newspapers who will go on about those in the public sector who get high pay - at which point all the arguments about paying the right money to get the best people for the job and rewarding success are thrown out the window), nor do most people have problems with bonuses.
it is when the high bonuses go to the high earners regardless of the success of the business. when really the bonus culture has become the expected large pay-out at the end of the year regardless of performance.
mr. osborne goes on to say that what is at stake isn't just the bonuses of the few but the jobs and prosperity of the many. ironic considering that in many of the companies that people get exercised about bonues amounts are the ones where they are cutting jobs (fewer staff, less costs so more profits).
interestingly the head of finance banking at ubs is not going to take his bonus as the company had lost over £1bn.
it isn't a case of congratulating the, already well paid, boss for refusing a bonus - it is a question of asking how someone in charge of a business that list £1bn is in line for a bonus to start with.
that, mr. osborne, is what annoys people. it isn't an anti-business movement, it is an anti-greed movement.