Anger over City bonuses was reignited today after it was revealed that workers in the finance and insurance industries pocketed an average of £12,000 in payouts last year.
While the average bonuses paid out by the two sectors in the year to April was £1,500 lower than the previous 12 months, they still dwarfed the payouts in the economy as a whole, where the average was £1,400.
The Office of National Statistics found that City bonuses accounted for 36 per cent of the £37 billion across the economy, even though just 4 per cent of total employees work in the finance and insurance industry.
Unison general secretary Dave Prentis said: "It is a disgrace that the lure of big bonuses fuelled the recession and yet today's figures show finance workers still bringing home more in bonuses than many public-service workers get paid in a year."
He said the ongoing public-sector pay freeze is having "a devastating impact on the families of nurses, home care workers, paramedics, dinner ladies and millions more public service workers.
"At the other end of the spectrum the government is happy to sit back and let the bonus culture go on."
TUC general secretary Brendan Barber said: "City bonuses remain unacceptably high, despite a small drop on last year.
"Ordinary workers struggling with falling real wages will wonder how the City has again managed to defy the recession and its own mediocre performance to dish out billions of pounds worth of bonuses.
"The £13bn of bonuses awarded last year could be better spent on what banks are supposed to be doing - lending to small businesses and supporting economic growth."
Robin Hood Tax campaign spokesman David Hillman said: "It's outrageous the banks continue to dole out billions in bonuses while they are knee-deep in insurance mis-selling and other scandals that ripped off the public.
"Bank bonuses may be lower than in previous years, but top bankers still seemingly exist in a parallel universe to everyone else.
"If the banks can afford to pay out such large sums, they can surely also afford to make a bigger contribution towards putting right the damage they've caused to our economy and society."
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