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I want to clarify. It is to all our benefit to have a healthy financial services sector. Obviously, all parties agreed, when we had the financial crisis, that we simply could not afford to see our banking system go into meltdown. There is no doubt that that is precisely what would have happened. Nevertheless, through the banking levy the Government are seeking to make the banks compensate the taxpayer for the undoubted support that they received. If there were a reduction in corporation tax alone with no offsetting bank levy, of course the Opposition could say that the banks were getting a free ride. However, the existence of a bank levy means that the banks are paying compensation to taxpayers for their largesse while at the same time ensuring that we retain a highly competitive financial services sector that can encourage and help our economy to recover.
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