Alistair Darling has warned banks that he will not water down his 50 per cent supertax on bonuses or offer special deals in a standoff in which brokers and banks have threatened to move key staff out of the UK.
The chancellor has been deluged with claims by banks that the tax would raise far more than the £550m he predicted. They have demanded that he make the levy less onerous.
But an aide to the chancellor said: “The solution to their problem is that they pay less in bonuses. The banks don’t seem to realise this tax is about changing their behaviour, not raising revenue.”
Let me put it on record: I'm impressed by Darling.
He's made a point of principle. It was the right principle. And he's sticking to it.