TIME is a healer and the public outrage over the recklessness of the banking industry may have receded to some extent - but it is bubbling just beneath the surface. David Cameron , therefore, finds himself in an awkward position over bonuses for bankers at Royal Bank of Scotland , 80 per cent of which is owned by the Government. The Government has the opportunity to draw a very clear line by putting a cap on individual bonuses. ButwhileMr Cameron has pledged to prevent RBS from increasing the overall pot for pay and bonuses, he has stopped short of agreeing to veto individual pay awards. At a time when millions of people are facing pay freezes and job insecurity, the live possibility remains that some high-flyers in the bank largely owned by taxpayers may still get bonuses of up to double their annual [pounds]1m-plus salary. A reduction in overall head-count, and a consequent balancing of the books, is seen as good enough by the Government, which insists it has donemore than any other to regulate bankers' pay. But we are still likely to see damning headlines emerging about fat cat bankersmaking huge amounts in pay in bonuses - and that will play out very badly with the public. Successive governments, not just the present one, share responsibility for allowing the banking industry to spiral out of control. But it is David Cameron who is now resisting Opposition calls for a block on what will be perceived to be the same old snouts in the trough.
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