Alistair Darling says, according to the FT, of his banker’s bonus tax:
“I think it will be a one-off thing because, frankly, the very people you are after here are very good at getting out of these things and . . . will find all sorts of imaginative ways of avoiding it in the future,” Mr Darling said at a financial services conference sponsored by Nomura, the Japanese investment bank.
Well, that’s a staggering insight. And I am sorely tempted to say “I told you so”.
There were always vastly better ways to tax banks to change behaviour. A one off levy was never going to be one.
It succeeded in raising revenue — which was good — but it was never going to achieve more.
Now let’s move on and tackle the agenda I set out in Taxing Banks. That will tackle the problem for the benefit of us all. We could start with a financial transaction taxâ€šÃ„¶..