By Max Clarke

After a strong performance in 2010 that saw end of year profits jump 32% to 6.1 billion, Barclays’ chief Bob Diamond has been awarded a £6.5 million bonus.

“At a time when public sector workers are facing pay freezes, jobs are being lost and inflation is rising, hitting families hard, bankers are still bringing home huge bonuses.” Commented Dave Prentis, head of the public sector union UNISON.

Mr. Prentis continued: “Bob Diamond’s £6.5million bonus could pay for more than 200 trained social workers or nurses for a year.

“The time for remorse is far from over - we want to see the bankers accepting that they must contribute to paying off the debt they caused.

“Taxing just half of the bankers’ bonuses for one year could keep the threatened Sure Start centres open and cover the complete costs of the Education Maintenance Allowance for five years.

“The Government should be clamping down on the bonus culture instead of cutting the public sector deep and fast, as we know there is an alternative.”