Opposition Day — [17th Allotted Day] — Banking

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 12:47 pm on 15th January 2014.

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Photo of Chris Leslie Chris Leslie Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury 12:47 pm, 15th January 2014

The previous Government introduced a bankers bonus tax, which raised billions of pounds that helped improve our public services. Government Members need to wake up and realise that they need to repeat that strategy.

While we are on the subject of bank taxation and the levy, let us look at what the Government have done, because it has been such a colossal disappointment so far. The Prime Minister promised that his bank levy would raise £2.5 billion each year, but they have never been bothered about making the banks pay their fair share, because their hearts are not in it, so the bank levy has fallen short of that target year after year. It raised only £1.6 billion in 2011, and despite their subsequent promises, it then again raised only £1.6 billion in 2012, and they are expecting a further shortfall this and next financial year—the Minister could confirm this. In the past three years, the bank levy has raised £2.1 billion less than they promised. With £2 billion, we could kick-start the construction of 80,000 houses or employ more than 20,000 nurses—the same number the NHS is short of. It represents a serious and scandalous shortfall in tax collection.