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Wednesday 21 March 2018

Bragg campaigns against RBS bonus

Singer Billy Bragg is to give a speech in Hyde Park against bonuses at RBS
Singer Billy Bragg is to give a speech in Hyde Park against bonuses at RBS

Billy Bragg is stepping up his bid to stop "excessive" bonuses at the Royal Bank of Scotland with a speech in Hyde Park.

The singer-songwriter and political activist, who is campaigning to stop the public paying taxes to "convince the Treasury to act", will address the public at Speakers' Corner next Sunday.

RBS, which is 84% owned by the taxpayer following a string of bailouts, is expected to pay up to £1.5 billion in bonuses to its investment bankers.

Bragg, 52, has launched a Facebook campaign, urging people to fire off letters or emails to Chancellor Alistair Darling over the issue of bonuses at the part-nationalised bank.

But he said: "If we are serious about putting pressure on the Government to limit the RBS bonus payouts, then we have to find a way to demonstrate to them the strength of our convictions, something that takes this campaign beyond the social networking sites and internet chatrooms."

More than 20,000 supporters had joined the Facebook group, he said.

Bragg, who released the hit album Talking With The Taxman About Poetry in 1986, has vowed to withhold his tax payments on January 31 unless action is taken.

Stephen Hester, the RBS chief executive, has said the firm would pay its investment bankers "the minimum we can get away with" in the looming bonus season.

A Treasury spokesman said: "We can reassure Mr Bragg and anyone else that there will not be big bonuses paid with taxpayers' money at RBS. Taxpayers' capital will be completely protected."

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