Prime Minister David Cameron said on Monday he would clamp down on excess pay in London's financial sector as part of what he said should be bold measures to boost the country's fortunes.
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, he said in a New Year message.
So we will tackle excess in the City just as we're reforming welfare to make work pay and support families.
Cameron said the London Olympics and the Queen's Diamond Jubilee later this year would provide an extraordinary incentive to restore pride in the country's abilities.
But he also said many people were worried about the outlook for jobs and prices in the year ahead.
I get that, he said. I know how difficult it will be to get through this -- but I also know we will.
He said the coalition government's measures to cut Britain's deficit were giving some protection from the worst of the debt storms now battering the Eurozone in the short term.
We have gained security for now - and because of that, we must be bold, confident and decisive about building the future, he said.
(Reporting by Paul Sandle; editing by Philippa Fletcher)