Banks operating in the UK make a significant contribution to the economy and public finances. However, as the financial crisis demonstrated, the sector also posed a potential risk to the wider economy and it is only fair for the banks to make an additional contribution to reflect that. That is why we have implemented a permanent levy on the balance sheet of banks, which will raise more than £2.5 billion each year.
I thank the Minister for that reply, but will he recognise the enormous feeling throughout the country that the banks need to fulfil their responsibility for the challenges we face? Will he therefore explain the stubborn refusal of the Government to repeat last year’s bonus tax, on top of the bank levy, which would generate the revenue to build 25,000 affordable homes and create 100,000 new jobs?
The corporation tax arrangements for banks are similar to those for other businesses. That is one reason why we have imposed the additional bank levy, which will raise more each year over this Parliament than the previous Government’s bank payroll tax did. It is important that the banks make a contribution to reflect the risk that they pose to the wider economy.