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That is entirely so. Those with significant financial wherewithal-the corporate advisers, the consultants, the accountants-are always exceptionally adept at lobbying Ministers and making their points in their detailed ways, often with the general public entirely unaware that such measures are being put in place to their advantage. Clearly, the banks have been very aggressive in lobbying for these changes. It appears they may well have been successful in watering down the banking levy, while at the same time gaining benefit from this corporation tax change.
The Minister may argue, "Ah well, some of our banks made very significant losses in previous financial years, and because of the complexities of our corporation tax law, companies have certain rights to recoup some of those losses from the corporation tax they paid previously." In my view, the banks should also be excluded from making such claims-or at least, their ability to do so should be lessened. I was unable to frame my amendment in that way-that takes a certain level of drafting-but we must ensure that the Treasury does not allow the exceptionally clever and highly paid advisers whom the banks can employ to find their way round the provisions and take even more money from the taxpayer.
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