Amid estimates that the City would pay out £7bn in bonuses this year, Lord Oakeshott said the moment had now come to reintroduce a tax on bonuses which, when imposed on the banks last year, brought in £3.5bn for the exchequer.
The justification still seems a little odd really.
Speaking after David Cameron acknowledged the public\’s \”anger\” over bonuses, Oakeshott said: \”As the prime minister has made clear, the banks are still paying ever bigger bonuses and not lending to small businesses.
\”The answer must be to take immediate action on bonuses and the obvious way is to have a much tougher bonus tax than Labour\’s feeble feather-duster and much stricter net lending targets to small and medium-sized businesses while we wait for the banking commission to recommend more radical reform.\”
The bonuses are being paid to the investment bankers and traders or market instruments. The lending to SMEs is all over in the commercial banks, or the commercial bank parts of the universal banks.
Equating the two is a bit like taxing the profits of aircraft makers because not enough small cars are being built. Sure, cars and aircraft are both the manufacture of transport, just like commercial and investment are both types of banking, but insisting they are the same thing is obscuring more than it is revealing.
However, this does make Credit Suisse look very good, doesn\’t it?
They paid their bonuses in September, when there wasn\’t a (special) tax on them. So unless the Coalition is going to entirely fuck over the rule of law by imposing a retrospective tax they\’re free and clear, aren\’t they?