There is no disagreement over the need for a contribution from the banking sector towards the public purse. We have concluded that the better way to make that contribution is through a corporation tax surcharge, and that is what we are introducing. There was also a particular argument in 2010 about trying to influence behaviour, but, to some extent, that has now been addressed by a new regulatory regime. I agree that there is a need for a contribution. What we have here is a new surcharge on the banking sector, which performs precisely that task.
Britain’s insurance premium tax is also well below rates in many other countries, such as Germany, so this Bill proposes an increase to 9.5%., but that applies to only one fifth of all premiums. The Government are also committed to meeting their climate change objectives in a cost-effective way. Over the next five years, the climate change levy exemption for renewable energy is due to cost £4 billion, one third of which would subsidise overseas projects that bring no benefit to the UK. This Finance Bill therefore takes urgent action to stabilise CCL revenue.
Finally, to make the tax system fairer, the Bill restricts the amount of tax relief landlords can claim on property finance costs to the basic rate of income tax. That will ensure that landlords with the largest incomes no longer receive the most generous tax treatment. We are tackling tax avoidance by wealthy individuals and corporates, addressing imbalances in the tax system and taking bold steps to ensure that it remains fair.