The Government must concentrate on securing the best for taxpayers’ money in public-owned companies rather than trying to control the private sector, an MP has warned.

Menston and Burley-in-Wharfedale MP Philip Davies said Government should concentrate on ones it is a majority shareholder in, like the Royal Bank of Scotland, rather than focusing on other private companies making a profit.

Mr Davies called for a debate into the role of Government and shareholders in setting bonuses in the private sector as RBS revealed its biggest annual loss since being rescued by Government during the financial crisis.

Speaking in the Commons, Mr Davies said: “We seem to be in a ridiculous situation where the Government wants to lecture companies about their pay and bonuses in which they have no shareholding and in companies that are making profits, where equally they are sitting idly by in a company, where the Government is a majority shareholder paying more than £500m in bonuses in a company that is costing the taxpayer over £8.2 billion a year.”