Britain to introduce bank levy

20th June 2010, Comments 0 comments

Britain's finance minister George Osborne confirmed Sunday that his emergency budget to be unveiled this week will include a banking levy.

The chancellor of the exchequer said it would be part of the budget that he will announce in parliament on Tuesday.

"What I'm determined to do is to make sure that the measures are tough but they're also fair," Osborne told BBC television.

"What we're clear about is that all parts of society are going to have to make a contribution.

"I'm going to ask the banks to pay a bank levy so there will be a contribution from them," he said.

"We are going to have better regulated banks, it's going to be tougher regulation and we're also going to look at the structure of banking.

"I'm perfectly prepared to say tough things to the financial services community," he added.

Newspaper reports suggest that such a levy could raise between one and three billion pounds (1.5-4.4 billion dollars, 1.2-3.6 billion euros) each year.

Unless Britain's government takes action to deal with the budget deficit "then I am afraid we will find our country on the road to ruin," Osborne said.

"We will find higher interest rates, businesses going bust, unemployment rising and our living standards declining. I am not prepared to put up with that.

"I see it as decisive action to deal with Britain's record budget deficit," he said.

"We sit here as the country in Europe with the largest budget deficit of any major economy at a time when markets and investors and businesses look around the world at countries that can't control their debts.

"We have got to deal with that. In that sense it is an unavoidable budget."

© 2010 AFP

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