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Bankers cheat the bonus tax.

Byline: David Collins

BAILED-OUT bankers will KEEP their bumper bonuses despite the new supertax, experts revealed yesterday.

Top investment banks are expected to dish out more than pounds 40billion in salaries and bonuses in the next two weeks - barely a year after taxpayers had to rescue them.

And most banks look set to pay the tax themselves rather than risk angering staff who would otherwise collect less than colleagues overseas.

Chancellor Alistair Darling decided to cut bonuses with a 50 per cent windfall tax on all payouts above pounds 25,000.

City experts now believe the biggest banks will absorb the cost of the tax by INCREASING the bonus pools.

That means big bills for London powerhouses including Goldman Sachs, Deutsche Bank, J P Morgan and Barclays. Many staff who escape the tax stand to get as much as they did before the Bank of England stepped into the financial crisis. The supertax could rake in more than pounds 2billion - four times the pounds 550million estimated by the Chancellor in his pre-Budget report. But the Government will have failed to change the bonus culture in the City.

One leading investor said: "We would like to see fewer banks held to ransom by staff demanding big bonuses."

Lib Dem Treasury spokesman Lord Oakeshott said: "Britain's bonus tax only toys with the symptoms of the sickness not its cause."

We Say: Page14

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CRISIS: Bank of England stepped in
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Publication:The People (London, England)
Date:Jan 10, 2010
Words:238
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