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Lib Dem manifesto

71 replies

anastaisia · 14/04/2010 10:53

And to make sure we don't leave them out here's the Lib Dems Manifesto

First thoughts - far less waffle and on to policy quite quickly. Overuse of the work 'fair' though and I'm only on page 15!

OP posts:
jackstarbright · 17/04/2010 20:49

"Cut the bonus and put the salary up (base it on their past performance and then increase or decrease in following years), and they have less incentive to take such hazardous risks."

webdude But that's almost the same as a bonus. Plus, some employment rights are based on basic salary (but not bonus). Surely your goal isn't to make the bankers richer?

Actually, I think, if implemented, the result of the LibDem proposal will be for banking bonuses to virtually disappear for all but the the highest paid. Base salaries will be increased to compensate. Top bank earners have always had bonuses paid in shares and this will continue. In general, bankers will actually have more secure salaries and less of their pay performance related. (nice for them - but not I think the intention).

WebDude · 20/04/2010 15:36

Vince Cable was on the 1300 news on Radio 4 today, and explained that the 2,500 would be a cash limit, with any further portion of the bonus in shares that would need to be held longer term (eg 5 years) so the bonus would depend on the bank not going down the drain betweentimes because of staff gambling with bank funds.

World At One - you can jump to the 25th minute to catch the start of Vince Cable.

jackstarbright · 20/04/2010 20:45

Webdude thanks for the link. Very interesting especially Vince Cable's ideas for restructuring the bank industry.

With regards to the bank bonus - I do understand what he's trying to do. I just don't think it will work.

Banks already pay many senior staff a mix of deferred shares and cash bonus.

But, rather than going through the trouble and cost of widening their executive share schemes, banks will take the easier option to increase basic pay.

WilfandWilma · 20/04/2010 22:55

Let's be honest, the main purpose of the proposed cap on banking bonuses is to curry favour with large sections of the electorate who seem to be under the impression that anyone who works in a bank is a reckless multi millionaire trader. While I agree that the "risk takers" in banks should not receive large cash bonuses, we have to remember that the vast majority of people who work in banks do very ordinary jobs for very ordinary wages. Why shouldn't a secretary who has worked hard all year be rewarded with a cash bonus of over £2500? It seems very unfair to me.

However, as others have already pointed out on this thread, I'm sure it will simply lead to an increase in base salaries which has already happened in a number of banks.

For these reasons, I think this is a very flawed proposal.

WebDude · 21/04/2010 13:57

What's to stop the secretary getting 2,500 and shares. I'm far from convinced that the bonuses go as far as that (which is bad, and perhaps motivation for a secretary to move to some smaller firm if they give better benefits), though I heard figures mentioned on radio that Goldman Sachs (?) had set aside over 100,000 pounds for each of its 33,000 eligible employees for the first quarter of 2010.

Sounds to me like they would spend a 2,500 "bonus" on a weekend party for a few friends as they would not be getting any new sports car (the type of thing annual bonuses have previously been spent on).

WebDude · 21/04/2010 14:02

Someone earlier posted that many people were given shares as their bonus. I suspect that the biggest share provision was mainly for directors and the highest levels of management, and ran to tens of thousands of shares or share options to buy at low prices.

As mentioned in the previous post, it used to be the case (until early 2008, perhaps) that the annual bonus was paid as a lump sum into the employees bank account, and used on cars, yachts, property, etc, and not as shares. BICBW and would be happy to see any online stats suggesting shares were given more than "cash".

I was one suggesting the base salary may go up (because I didn't know the full details, that 2,500 was not the limit of the bonus, just the "cash" limit, the remainder being in shares). Now I know the bankers might be given bonuses in the 500,000 and up range, with 99% as shares, I don't think base salaries are likely to change too much.

WilfandWilma · 21/04/2010 15:16

Web Dude - I'm sorry to disappoint you but the vast majority of people who work in banks aren't in a position to rush out and blow their bonuses on fast cars, yachts and property (I wish!) Most people use the money for very mundane things like paying down their mortgage, paying off credit card bills and perhaps saving a little bit for the future.

WebDude · 22/04/2010 00:24

But the vast majority of people in High Street banks are not the ones who 'gamble' with share deals worth millions every day. I never assumed they were the ones getting big bonuses.

As far as I was concerned, targets of reforms were those who previously got half million pound bonuses, as a result of their risk taking speculative trades.

No disappointment here.

cat64 · 22/04/2010 00:31

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn

Heathcliffscathy · 22/04/2010 01:04've got that right, and 500k is nothing in the scheme of the kind of bonuses that are paid out.

and of course the bonuses have been spent on second (third!) homes, cars, yachts etc.

i am not saying that earning a big salary is a bad thing, far from it. but it does seem peculiar to the culture of the financial sector that young men are rewarded massively (huge huge bonuses and early retirement, frankly no one can sustain that way of living for longer than 15 years or so) for giving their lives over to work (i am a therapist and have seen many casualties of that culture over the years) and taking enormous risks, risks that have landed the economy in total shite.

jackstarbright · 22/04/2010 11:51

Web-dude £2.5k is a lot smaller than £500k!!!

Why not focus effort on those earning, say £20k+? Mr Cable is an intelligent man - he knows that staff earning up to a £20k bonuses are not in the risk taking jobs that could potentially threaten the economy - he is just playing to the 'anti-banker' sentiment.

WilfandWilma · 22/04/2010 12:40

Jackstarbright - I completely agree with you. Limiting cash bonuses to £2500 is a very cynical attempt by Vince Cable to gain brownie points from members of the electorate who are under the impression that all bankers earn vast sums of money by gambling with our money. So much for the Lib Dems being the party of "fairness".

To go back to my original point, why should a secretary who works in a bank not be allowed a cash bonus of say £3000 as s/he would be entitled to receive in any other organisation if his or her employers believed s/he deserved it?

Sophable - I agree with you that awarding large cash bonuses to reckless young men who take enormous risks with our money is totally unacceptable; however I've been talking about the thousands of ordinary people who work in banks and receive relatively small bonuses as a reward for working hard all year. Why should they be penalised?

WebDude · 22/04/2010 13:58

jackstarbright - it was 2,500 PLUS SHARES (so they might still have a 500K bonus in total), but the SHARES portion depends on the continued good fortune of the bank, and means that if they make it go bust through daft gambling with funds, the shares would be worthless, so it is a means of restraint, a reminder that they gamble at their peril.

WebDude · 22/04/2010 14:02

I'm sure they'd be able to word any regulation such that it would allow for (say) "up to 10,000 pounds as cash, but on any bonus above that, only 2,500 as cash, remainder in shares".

Would that satisfy fairness, W+W ?

I feel sure the Lib Dems have no wish to penalise staff paid under 50,000, but the "gambler" category with speculative trades or other 'risky' investment deals.

jackstarbright · 22/04/2010 14:18


"I'm sure they'd be able to word any regulation such that it would allow for (say) "up to 10,000 pounds as cash, but on any bonus above that, only 2,500 as cash, remainder in shares"."

Yes, that would have been a more sensible approach and, I expect if it ever gets implemented, closer to what will be actually done!!

WebDude · 22/04/2010 14:35

It might be worth an e-mail to tell them how strongly you feel - so they can see how unfair it appears for lower paid staff at banks (and no doubt there are significant numbers, given how many High Street branches there are across the UK).

It's all too easy to 'argue' when we're seeing things a little different... you from High St and myself {and perhaps others} about the 'gambler' category...

Glad we see it eye-to-eye really.

Clairewilliams1973 · 23/04/2010 10:05

I have to say that I am livid, not just with the Lib Dems but also with Mumsnet !!! The Lib Dems put themselves forward as sensible people but as a mother of two children, trying to keep down a job. I want to to ensure my son & daughter have the best start, study hard and get to university if thats what they want.

I have always voted Lib Dem, except in 1997 when I voted for labour (we needed a change) but I must admit that this is the very first time I have actually looked under the surface at the nuts and bolts of their policy, the kids are older and thank god i have a bit more time....

What makes me feel utterly cheated and deceived is the fact that Don Foster, MP where I work in Bath, was the key proposer of a CURRENT Lib Dem policy to lower the age at which children can STAR IN HARD CORE PORN !!!

I read this on the Independents web site and even checked it on the copy of the paper held at the library his entire point of view that he will continue to protect women from exploitation is making my blood boil !!! A 16 year old is on the cusp of being an adult but a 16 year old is still a child and requires special protection that gives them freedom to experiment but not make mistakes that can end up on the top shelf for ever, looking down at them reminding them of a single simple mistake !!

I?m a mother and I know how kids vary in their development, some can be 16 and look like twelve year olds. Other 12 year olds can look 16... What sort of message does that send out that we have them shagging live on camera !! Would he be happy with his Children starring in a top shelf movie at 16 that for ever and a day could come back to haunt them..? ?Sorry my love but thats Lib Dem policy, whenyou do the next one can you make sure there is a better close up !!! ?

And I for one want nothing more to do with a disgusting pervert of a party that advocates the legalisation of child pornography !!

This is mentioned above, but so many of you are ignoring it..? WHY ???????????????

Or are you saying that all their other policies make this a price worth paying..?

anastaisia · 23/04/2010 10:23

There's a thread on this, read that and see what you think.

OP posts:
Clairewilliams1973 · 23/04/2010 10:26

Where abouts..?

WebDude · 23/04/2010 11:36

This newspaper article includes

"The party's culture spokesman, Don Foster, said that it was inconsistent to allow 16-year-olds to have children, and be treated as adults in other respects, but to bar them from watching or taking part in explicit material - which they could access, anyway, from the internet."

However, the MN thread has an extract from a Working Party which puts it into context.

While I can see your concern, it does seem pretty pathetic that a daughter could get married on her 16th birthday and could have her own baby by 17 but is not allowed to see an "18" certificate film.

Somehow I doubt Don Foster would encourage any 16yo to appear in a porn film, and that quote doesn't exactly look more than acknowledging it would be legal, rather than actually suggesting it would be a good thing.

With just an e-mail address, and no credit or debit card, one can currently find hard core porn today this minute, and back in the late 90s it wasn't much different - teenagers were swapping porn clips without their parents even knowing what was going on as the parents were not sufficiently clued up, so it's a bit hard to turn the clock back...

Anyway, it was just over 6 years old, so I suppose Don Foster is just the target of your local alternative parties, trying to grab whatever they can to tilt opinion.

Has Don Foster worked well for Bath ? Rather than call him a disgusting pervert (which might be legally challenged!), it might be better to contact him by e-mail and ask if it is still his view...

WebDude · 23/04/2010 12:22

my mistake - described the party as disgusting pervert

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