Lord Myners dismisses bonus supertax row as storm in a teacup

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Lord Myners, the City minister, said the Government would not apologise over the introduction of the "supertax" on bonuses that yesterday saw Tullett Prebon offer its staff a route out of the UK. The minister said he hoped to "end a culture of risk-taking and excessive rewards that damaged our banking system".

Speaking at an event on the future of UK banking, the Financial Services Secretary said he made "no apology" for the one-off 50 per cent tax on bank bonuses higher than £25,000 and said disgruntled staff should complain to their employers if their bonuses were cut, not the Treasury.

"It is a matter for bank boards and shareholders, not the Government, to decide if bonus payments will be cut," he added. "The economics of the decision may have changed, but the choice still remains." He also noted that though the vast majority were not to blame, bankers' reputations had been tarnished "seemingly beyond repair".

Lord Myners said the Government had "at times been frustrated with the level of resistance to reform we have seen from the industry". He added: "The taxpayers have been justifiably angry to see their money spent rescuing institutions that got rich by taking reckless gambles, drawing on an implicit and uncharged for public guarantee."