Govt’s bank levy a failure, claims Labour
April 15 2013 11:08 PM
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Guardian News and Media/London


The Labour party has branded the government’s bank levy a failure after releasing figures showing that over the past two years it has raised almost £2bn less than planned.
Chris Leslie, Labour Treasury spokesman, said this amounted to a “tax cut of nearly £2bn for the banks” and reinforced the case for the tax on bank bonuses that Labour proposes.
The Treasury did not contest the figures, but stressed that the rate at which the levy was charged was reviewed regularly.
Alastair Darling, the Labour chancellor, introduced a one-off tax on bank bonuses when he was in power that raised £3.5bn in 2010-11.
The coalition government chose not to repeat it, but instead said it would raise about £2.5bn every year by introducing a permanent bank levy, a tax based on the annual value of debts held by the banks.
But, according to figures published by the Office for Budget Responsibility and HM Revenue and Customs, the levy has failed to raise this amount in both years it has been in force.
In 2011-12 the Treasury raised £1.8bn from the levy. But the banks also gained £100mn from the cut in corporation tax that was implemented that year, leaving a net gain of £1.7bn.
And, according to the Labour analysis, the levy raised just £1.6bn in 2012-13.
This was offset by a £200mn gain to the banking sector from another cut in the rate of corporation tax, leaving the exchequer with a net gain of £1.4bn.
Labour says this means the levy has raised £3.1bn over two years, instead of £5bn as promised.

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