It comes after the government faced intense criticism and accusations of hypocrisy this week over plans to cut controls on City bosses’ pay while calling for wage restraint in the public sector.
In a letter to Cabinet Office minister Stephen Barclay, Labour’s deputy leader questioned the government’s “priorities” and said the plans were of “huge concern”.
Her letter follows a report in the Financial Times in June 2021 that suggested the issue of a cap on bankers’ bonuses was raised by an international bank chief executive at a “virtual” financial services roundtable the same month.
At the time, chancellor Rishi Sunak, who attended the meeting alongside Boris Johnson, was said to be resisting pressure to ditch the cap — a measure introduced after the 2008 financial crash which limits bonuses to the size of a banker’s salary.
In today’s letter, Ms Rayner called on Mr Barclay to immediately release the minutes of the meeting with banking executives, and demanded to know whether any further meetings had occurred where the issue was discussed.
Labour’s deputy leader also requested to know whether the issue has ever been brought up by a Conservative party donor.
Ms Rayner also highlighted a leaked letter detailing government plans to alter rules on director and non-executive director pay, which sparked outrage among opposition parties and unions.
She said: ”It appears this Government’s “new approach” is to prioritise increasing banker’s bonuses rather than helping working people.
“The hypocrisy of removing restrictions for bankers while the public sector face a prolonged period of below-inflation pay rises is clear. It is an indication of where this government’s priorities lie. “
Confirming the plan on Tuesday, No 10 said the government was exploring whether to remove “unnecessary restrictions on paying non-executive directors shares”.
“There’s no plans to change the cap on executive pay. The issue that’s being investigated is how non-executive directors are paid rather than what CEOs or directors are paid,” the PM’s official spokesperson said.
Responding to Ms Rayner’s letter, a Conservative source said: “Angela Rayner should stop trying to position herself for Labour leadership by wasting time writing pointless letters about false accusations. If Labour had done their research, they would know that the government has never proposed any changes to bankers’ bonuses.
“They should spend less time playing politics and misleading the public and more time doing their research.
“Labour should also get their own house in order on transparency – they continue to break a Leveson Inquiry pledge to publish which senior media figures they are meeting with.”
Source Link Angela Rayner calls on government to declare any meetings where bankers’ bonuses raised