British Prime Minister David Cameron pledged more action to deal with “excess” pay in the finance industry as he said the country “will get through” a difficult year.
In his New Year message, Cameron said the eyes of the world would be on Britain this year, with the Summer Olympic Games in London and the celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II’s 60 years on the throne.
“It gives us an extraordinary incentive to look outward, look onwards and to look our best: to feel pride in who we are and what — even in these trying times — we can achieve,” he said.
Attempting to reassure families struggling with inflation and young people unable to find work amid weak economic growth that he understands their concerns, Cameron pledged to be “bold about working to cure the problems of our society.”
“While a few at the top get rewards that seem to have nothing to do with the risks they take or the effort they put in, many others are stuck on benefits, without hope or responsibility,” the prime minister said. “So we will tackle excess in the City just as we are reforming welfare to make work pay and support families,” he said, in a reference to London’s financial district.
This year will see Cameron reach the halfway stage of a possible five-year term in office. The prime minister said he would also take action on shortcomings in the public sector.
“Too often our schools aren’t up to scratch, our hospitals aren’t always clean enough and our police don’t catch criminals,” he said. “Brilliant and committed people work in public services — but somehow the system stops them doing their job. So we’ll change it.”