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Tories would introduce unilateral bank levy

David Cameron says the Tories will introduce a tax on banks if the Conservatives win the election, even if other countries do not follow suit.


In a speech in London on Saturday, Cameron said his party would take on the UK’s “vested interests” and branded the banks “the biggest vested interests in our country”.

He said: “We had the biggest bank bail-out in the world, we can’t just carry on as if nothing has happened. I can announce today that a Conservative government will introduce a new bank levy to pay back taxpayers for the support they gave and to protect them in the future.”

The Tories say there is a growing international consensus for the tax.

Shadow chief treasury secretary Philip Hammond told BBC1’s Andrew Marr’s show: “It has become clear that this is now going to happen – the US is going to introduce a banking levy, Sweden has already done so, the consensus is growing – and at some point you have to make a decision to take some leadership.”

But Chancellor Alistair Darling told the BBC that pressing ahead with a banking levy without international consensus would pose a “hell of a risk” to jobs in the sector, which he says employs one million people in the UK and is a huge revenue source.

Darling says the Tories position is “misguided and not thought out,” and argues that some banks may move overseas if the levy is introduced.

A British Bankers’ Association spokesman says: “UK banks have already made substantial changes to how they are structured and the amount of capital and cash they hold to help prevent any future problems. We are ready and willing to work for change. But we believe any further reforms need to be timely, considered and internationally co-ordinated so they do not restrict credit to individuals and businesses as recovery picks up speed.”


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There are 7 comments at the moment, we would love to hear your opinion too.

  1. Instead of causing even more problems for the industry, why not look more closely at what some of these bailed out banks are doing with that money. eg. the buy to let market. Tenants are totally protected and scum can live in the properties rent free and reck them. If a Landlord has a portfolio of properties with a Lender and a few of them go into arrears, the bank will then take the whole portfolio back and cause even more debt even on the accounts that were not in arrears. They do not have to go to Court, the Landlord can do nothing. If the Receivers decide to mismanage the property and leave it empty for a year they can legally get away with it. Some Councils think they have to have a court order showing it was repossessed, they do not understand it can be repossessed without a Court Order and so still chase the Landlord for the Council Tax. In the meantime the arrears are escalating totally out of control and the Receivers have their own companies who supposedly manage the property and then let it sell for well under the market price. That of course is after they have charged lots of fees on each property and totally ruined the Landlords credit rating. The Lenders know they are making things worse, but don’t care. After all, its the taxpayers money they are playing with.

  2. Craig Mcmcgowan 22nd March 2010 at 2:30 pm

    Yet again a poorly thought out soundbite seaking policy. Cameron must have who to attack today to try win votes toliet paper. Why not look at the root cause and not just panic tax to try and pay for all the promisess made and clearly not budgeted for

  3. David Cameron is a bufoon, Gordon Brown a Bully, Nick Cleg a nobody. no wonder people are voting for cretins like the BNP, the non racist partys policys are shocking and partys are clearly led by idiots

  4. what the previous comments fail to address is that by acting first to add this levy we can be seen to lead the world in the economic recovery. even is it is a poor idea is bound to get us votes and no more nanny state politics, it will be back to the dog eat dog prosperity and the stong like me will prosper

  5. Craig Mcmcgowan 22nd March 2010 at 3:19 pm

    thats all we need born again thatcherites, have we not moved on from this…..has the expenses scandle and bank fat cats not sicken you enough, Mr Owen needs to have a good look in the mirror if that’s his personal view

  6. I think this will be very harsh and will be passed onto the customers, who in the end bailed out the banks already, is this double jepardy now, when will people wake up and smell the coffee

  7. this will just be a crap idea which will hurt mortgage market even more, it needs help not thoughless levys

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