Making Bankers Pay

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The British government aims to get tough with bankers making big bonuses at bailed-out banks:

Alistair Darling will try to force a “permanent culture shift” in the City as he announces a one-off punitive super-tax of more than 50% on the bonuses of tens of thousands of bankers as the centrepiece of the pre-budget report.

….The tax will be set higher than the 50% income tax rate coming in from April for those earning more than £150,000 a year [about $250,000 –ed], sources indicate.1

….But City accountants said there was a strong likelihood of a legal challenge against a punitive tax aimed at one sector of the workforce. Bill Dodwell, head of taxation at accountants Deloitte said: “We have had calls from bankers asking about what action they might take under the Human Rights Act. There’s never been a precedent.”

Hey, this means that conservatives might finally find something they like about the EU Convention on Human Rights!  Assuming, of course, that they can convince a judge that making bankers pay high taxes on high incomes is a violation of human rights.  Seems a stretch to me, but I know zilch about EU law or the British implementation of it.  Anyone who knows more should feel free to chime in.

1Just so you know, Darling announced a few months ago that the basic tax rate for income above £150,000 would rise from 40% to 50% starting next April.  The new super tax would be above and beyond that.

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THE BIG PICTURE

You expect the big picture, and it's our job at Mother Jones to give it to you. And right now, so many of the troubles we face are the making not of a virus, but of the quest for profit, political or economic (and not just from the man in the White House who could have offered leadership and comfort but instead gave us bleach).

In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," we unpack what the coronavirus crisis has meant for journalism, including Mother Jones’, and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support our nonprofit journalism with a donation: We've scoured our budget and made the cuts we can without impairing our mission, and we hope to raise $400,000 from our community of online readers to help keep our big reporting projects going because this extraordinary pandemic-plus-election year is no time to pull back.

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