George Osborne’s plan to scrap the bank levy shows the Tory government is ditching its responsibility to bring order to the financial industry warns Unite, the trade union for UK bank workers.
Ending the levy, along with the sell-off of Lloyds and the Royal Bank of Scotland, underlines the hands-off attitude of the Tories, a position which emboldens boardrooms to return to the reckless behaviour that led to the financial crisis.
In the summer budget today (8 July 2015) Osborne announced the levy, which raised £1.9 billion for the treasury last year, will be phased out over six years. The levy will be replaced by an 8 per cent surcharge on profits. However, this could lead to the largest banks, such as HSBC, paying less to the Treasury overall. A surcharge tax will also be partially cancelled out by the planned decreases in corporation tax.
Dominic Hook Unite national officer for finance said:
“By promising to scrap the bank levy George Osborne will win applause from the City boardrooms, but he is turning his back on the banking industry as a whole, allowing senior executives to return to the dark ages that led to the financial crash.
“The bank levy forced the boardrooms to pay for the crisis they caused with a tax on their balance sheets. The ending of the levy, coupled with the sell-off of the public’s stake in both Lloyds and the Royal Bank of Scotland, underlines this government’s hands-off approach to the banks.
“This sends all the wrong signals to the banking industry. Already we have seen the board of Barclays, emboldened by this government’s stance, announce the sacking of its CEO and a potential acceleration of job cuts and branch closures.”
For more information please contact Ben Norman on 07525 590 075 or Ben.Norman@unitetheunion.org. Alternatively contact the Unite press team on 020 3371 2065
Notes to editors:
Unite is Britain and Ireland’s largest trade union with over 1.4 million members working across all sectors of the economy. The general secretary is Len McCluskey.