Tony Blair on bonuses
Do you believe that an individual can earn too much money?
‘I don’t really. It is not – no, it’s not a view I have. Do you mean that we should cap someone’s income? Not really, no. Why? What’s the point? …It’s not a burning ambition for me to make sure that David Beckham earns less money …’
So is it acceptable for the gap to widen between rich and poor?*
‘It is not acceptable for poor people not to be given the chances they need in life.’
That is not my question.
‘I know it’s not your question but it’s the way I choose to answer it. If you end up going after those people who are the most wealthy in society, what you actually end up doing is in fact not even helping those at the bottom end …
‘I tell you why I want to answer it in this way. Because if you end up saying, “No, actually my task is to stop the person earning a lot of money earning a lot of money”, you waste all your time and energy taking money off the people who are very wealthy when, in today’s world, they probably would move elsewhere and make their money. What you are not asking me about, which would be a more fruitful line of endeavour, is, “What are are you doing for the poorest people to give them a boost?”’
Let’s talk about tax. You have promised –
‘Why don’t we talk about the poorest of society and what we are doing for them?’
I assume you want to be prime minister. I just want to be an interviewer. Can we stick to that arrangement?
*Which it did not, incidentally, while Blair was Prime Minister. But more of that, which is why I was in the archives, later.Tagged in: bonuses, contemporary history, equality, jeremy paxman, tony blair
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