Champagne corks were popping for bonus-hungry Barclays bankers today even as George Osborne heaped more misery on working people to pay for their financial crisis.
As Chancellor George Osborne revealed yet another austerity budget on Wednesday the bank awarded £40 million in bonuses to its senior staff - with top dog Rich Ricci pocketing a mammoth £18m.
Unite, which represents Barclays workers in branches, back offices and call centres, said the firm's low-paid employees, who played no part in the economic crisis, are rightly furious.
The union's general secretary Len McCluskey said: "Staff in branches and call centres up and down the country want to get on but many continue to struggle on low pay.
"Meanwhile senior bankers who were at or near the helm during the scandals that have rocked Britain's banks behave like nothing has changed."
And Unison said the money handed to the already highly paid Barclays bosses could have been used to fund 1,800 nurses on a starting salary of £21,000 or nearly 3,000 home care workers to help the elderly remain in their homes.
The bonuses could have funded 9,625 pain-relieving hip operations or provided potentially-life saving neuroblastoma treatment for nearly 600 children with cancer at £65,000 each, the union added.
"Barclays bosses are clearly wired into another planet. Bonuses on this scale for people who already earn astronomical wages are a disgrace, said Unison general secretary Dave Prentis.
"It's bleak house for the majority but the minority get to party on."