Leading Churchman Has A Pop At Bankers - Is He Right To Do So ?

Christmas Angel - Streuli Silvan

The Archbishop of York has had a pop at banker bonuses (a bit late to be sure), but is he right to do so in any case ?

Here's an extract from an open letter published last week by The Yorkshire Post.

'Can it be right that public sector workers, and those who work in British industry, face losing their jobs when those high earners in the banking sector who helped cause the economic crisis not only keep their jobs but rake in massive bonuses ?

Also, how can we have a situation where someone will suffer the devastation of unemployment while others in our society remain so overworked ?

It’s not just a problem restricted to the job market. Look at the housing situation. Homelessness grows while estimates suggest that around a million homes are empty because they remain unlet or unsold – and this is without taking into account people who have second homes they rarely live in.

Young people and those on low incomes are effectively priced out of the housing market, and in many cases have no option but to pay high rents in the private sector because of a shortage of affordable housing.

We have created a situation where many people live in relative poverty, while others have far more than they can ever hope to spend. In fact, the divide between the wages of the rich and the poor is growing in nearly all of the world's leading economies.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Surveys show that people do not feel that consumerism is necessarily a good thing, but they do it, knowing that reduces time for more valuable things like time for friends, family and community. Let us not be a society that knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. Let us value the contribution that every individual can make, not only in the workplace, but also at home and in the public square'.


1. 'The public sector have had it too good for too long. The chickens are finally coming home to roost'.

2. 'Sure, there are a lot more deserving types than bankers - but public sector workers ? Do me a favour'.

3. 'Most of the bankers I know came from relatively poor backgrounds. There is a real misconception here that bankers got something for nothing - the vast majority have had to pull themselves up by their bootstraps. Not for them state handouts, or gold-plated pensions'.

4. 'Too many people like to blame others for their own circumstances, rather than look in the mirror'.

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