The chancellor, in a speech to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) last night, defended the free-market against what he sees as an anti-business culture created by the debate on banker bonuses:
"Of course we need to reform our banking system – and nobody has done more than this government to address the too big to fail problem that so offends every taxpayer.
"Of course rewards for failure are unacceptable – and those who believe in the free market are the first to say so. But a strong, free market economy must be built on rewards for success.
"There are those who are trying to create an anti-business culture in Britain – and we have to stop them. At stake are not pay packages for a few but jobs and prosperity for the many.
"These are all important steps to restoring prosperity to Britain, but as a country we need to broaden our horizons and take advantage of the opportunities that the emerging markets present to grow and create jobs."