Billy Bragg to withhold taxes in RBS bonus protest

18 Jan 2010

The British singer Billy Bragg has said he will not pay his taxes until the UK Government acts to curb the “excessive” bonuses being granted to investment bankers at the 84pc taxpayer-owned Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS), and has launched a Facebook campaign, ‘NoBonus4RBS’, to encourage others to do the same.

Bragg (52), a well-known political activist, expressed his outrage at the reported £1.5 billion set to paid out to RBS’ investment bankers on the social-networking site.

“I understand that the Treasury had little choice but to use taxpayers’ money to safeguard savings and stabilise and restore confidence in the financial system,” Bragg wrote on his Facebook page.

“What I don’t understand is why, now that we taxpayers are the majority shareholders of these banks, we seem totally powerless to curb their excessive bonus culture?

“I believe that the Government have their priorities wrong. I have written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Alistair Darling, to inform him that I am no longer prepared to fund the excessive bonuses of RBS investment bankers. Unless he acts to limit them to £25,000, I shall be withholding my tax payment on 31 January.”

Bragg also made reference to the Facebook campaign which was launched late last year aimed at stopping X Factor winner Joe McElderry from securing the Christmas No 1 in the UK: “If nothing else, we may discover if people in this country care more about banker’s bonuses than they do about who will be the Xmas No 1.”

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