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Lib Dems call for banks to be split in economic manifesto

The Liberal Democrats have announced the key pillars of their economic manifesto which include plans to separate banking functions and keep the FSA as the UK’s financial regulator.

Speaking at the first session of the Demos Politics 2010 series in London this morning, Lib Dems Shadow Chancellor Vince Cable reiterated calls for investment and retail banking to be separated.

He said: “A modern version of Glass Steagall is required separating retail and investment banking and there is need too for more meaningful competition in business and mortgage lending.

“Until the banks are broken up and are able to compete and succeed or fail without UK Government guarantees, they should pay an insurance premium – a supplementary tax on bank profits.”

Cable called for banking regulation to be reformed and improved, but said he does not support Tory calls for the FSA to be abolished.

He said while the FSA has made mistakes it is not the right time to change the regulator in the middle of an economic crisis.

Cable said the banking industry needs more local banks, mutuals including credit unions, a banking arm for the Post Office and specialist banks to support new ventures and infrastructure.

Cable criticised Labour and Conservative plans to ring-fence some Government budgets from spending cuts.

He said: “By doing so, the Government and the Tories are condemning other valued services to deeply damaging cuts. By cutting in a haphazard and panicky way, in some departments but not others, this Government has already made a start on arbitrary cuts which are hitting important scientific research as well as capital spending on affordable housing and further education.”

Instead the Lib Dems are proposing tougher limits on public sector pay rises, reform of public sector pensions and cuts in welfare spending such as tax credits for higher earners and scrapping future child trust fund contributions. Cable said the Lib Dems have identified an additional £10bn in net savings beyond what the Government has put forward.

Cable also detailed a “revenue neutral” package of tax changes that centre on tax cuts for the low paid by lifting the income tax threshold to £10,000.

He said: “Such tax cuts are a means of sustaining disposable income amongst low paid workers and pensioners but also provide an incentive to work for those facing very high marginal tax rates because of a combination of tax, National Insurance and benefit withdrawal.

“The tax cuts would be paid for by raising taxes on the wealthy by removing relief such as higher rate tax relief on pensions, closing the differential between earned income and capital gains tax, an extra levy on high value property, over £2m, and some green taxation on aviation.”


The sting in the tail

At the risk of becoming a bore, (or even more of one, as a few anonymous fans have suggested), I again find fault with our lords and masters at Canary Wharf. They were everybody’s favourite whipping boy in 2009 and this year looks like being no different. On this occasion, my ire has been raised […]


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There are 2 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Absolutely typical of a politician, let’s tax the socks off the high earners and wealth creators and use it to better effect. I pay income tax at 40%, NI at 11%, VAT at 17.5%, Council Tax at nearly £2kpa, etc, etc. The 40% band isn’t capped, the more I earn the more I pay for the errors of useless politicians.
    Let’s all share the pain and reduce the number of MP’s and local council officers by 25%. Let’s make their gold plated pension schemes the same as those of us in personal pensions and suffer an employer contribution capped at 3%, not 20%+ as is typical. Simples!

  2. The stupidity of man is always so stupid.


    A failing bank takes us all down with it.

    Banks are not like factories that can be allowed to fail as some other factory will easily take its place.


    The bailout was unfortunate but look at the alternatives.

    Bank fails, bank has to repay creditors, bank calls in its loan, bank sells YOUR house, YOUR business and YOUR car.

    Oh yes thats a much better system.

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