So we have a new bank levy – to be charged on bank assets.
The consequence is obvious: banks want lend. That’s the last thing we wanted. What we actually wanted was a tax on those transactions banks undertake that fuel bonuses and harm the economy, international relations and the stability of democracy itself. Those are the massively speculative transactions which brought banks down – and which continue unabated.
A financial transaction tax – a Robin Hood Tax – could have done that.
This bank levy won’t.
So it’s the wrong tax at the wrong time with the absolutely guaranteed wrong outcome. Apart from that, full marks to George Osborne.