Asked about the Bank Levy announcement today and whether this would rule out a tax on bankers bonuses, the Prime Minister’s Spokesman (PMS) told the assembled press that today’s announcement would include some of the detail for the Levy announced in the Budget, such as how it would be implemented and what it would be levied on.
The PMS said the expectation was that it would generate £2.5 billion in annual revenues. The PMS added that there was a statement of policy in the Spending Review yesterday, which was that we would look to generate the maximum tax revenues from Financial Services on a sustainable basis.
Put that it could include bankers bonuses, the PMS replied that the Chancellor had answered that question in his statement. The Chancellor had referred to comments from Alastair Darling who had said that if you repeated the tax, individuals would find a way round it.
Asked what the Prime Minister’s view was on comments made by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS), suggesting that the Government would have to repeat the Spending Review process if it wanted to recoup all the money it set out to, the PMS said that the Prime Minister agreed with the Chancellor; we believed we were addressing the deficit at the right pace and we believed this was the right plan. It was also based on independent forecasts from the Office of Budget Responsibility (OBR).
Put that the Budget deal announced by France and Germany could mean an amendment to the EU Treaty and what was the Government’s view on that, the PMS said that the Government’s view on changes to the EU Treaty was as set out in the Coalition Agreement.
When asked it the Government would accept changes that only affected the Eurozone, the PMS said that we would have to look at the details of the proposal.
Asked if the Government could live with a ‘slim-line’ treaty that did not require a referendum, the PMS said that on this specific proposal, we would need to look at it properly.
PM and DPM Public Meeting
Asked why the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister would both be taking part in the event, the PMS replied that it was not unusual for the two of them to do events together. There had been a big announcement yesterday and no doubt members of the public would have questions they wanted to ask.