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MPs are asking for more from orphan assets

The Government is being urged to levy a 33 per cent windfall tax on orphan assets by a group of backbench Labour MPs.

The call comes in the wake of the decision last week by Axa to distribute part of its orphan assets to with-profits policyholders.

Seven Labour backbench MPs have tabled a motion which calls upon the Treasury to tax life office orphan assets before they are distributed to either policyholders or shareholders.

Hull North MP Kevin McNamara says it would seem reasonable for the Government to take up to 33 per cent of orphan assets.

He is disappointed that the decision by Axa came so late in the Parliamentary session.

McNamara says if the matter arose even two weeks ago, the number of MPs who would have signed the petition would be significantly higher.

He hopes the matter will be debated once the House of Commons reconvenes in the autumn.

McNamara says: “There is ample opportunity for the Government to have a share of the assets without causing any problems to policyholders or shareholders. Thirty-three per cent of Axa&#39s assets is about £0.5bn. Think of what that could do for universities.”

A Treasury spokesman says: “The Government has made it absolutely clear we have no intentions of levying anymore windfall taxes.”

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