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Cameron Pledges Action on ‘Excess’ in U.K. Finance-Industry Pay

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron
U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron. Photographer: Jock Fistick/Bloomberg

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron pledged more action to deal with “excess” in 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 will be on Britain in 2012, with the 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.

Assuring 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 premier said. “So we will tackle excess in the City just as we’re reforming welfare to make work pay and support families,” he said, in a reference to London’s financial district.

This year will see Cameron hit the halfway stage of his five-year term. The premier said he’ll 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.”

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