IMF s bank tax proposals a licence for governments to raise taxes

Philip Booth suggests a better plan

Responding to the IMF’s plans for new bank taxes, Professor Philip Booth, Editorial and Programme Director at the Institute of Economic Affairs, said:

“The IMF’s bank tax proposals spell trouble for UK consumers. The cost of these taxes will inevitably be passed on. The low cost of banking is undoubtedly a great British success story; these taxes will be a substantial backward step as the cost of the taxes will be passed on to consumers.”

“It is appalling that all three main parties have come out in support of the taxes. This money will not even go into a fund to deal with any future banking problems. It will be channelled into general government coffers and used for completely unrelated policies, for example the Conservatives’ marriage tax break.”

“The extension of these tax schemes to insurance companies and hedge funds shows intent to try and punish the financial sector. In fact, the sector is a major contributor to our economy and the services it provides underpin much of the productivity in society.”

“Governments - especially the US government - should stop underwriting risk in the financial sector - something that is purely done in order to keep political interest groups happy - with the inevitable results being blamed on the banking sector.”

To arrange an interview with Philip Booth, IEA Editorial and Programme Director or with Mark Littlewood, IEA Director General, please contact Ruth Porter, Communications Manager, 077 5171 7781, 020 7799 8900, rporter@iea.org.uk.

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