JOHN McDONNELL condemned a £5.4 billion tax giveaway to the banks as “shameful” yesterday after figures exposed the sheer scale of government concessions to Britain’s biggest banks.
The shadow chancellor rounded on his Conservative counterpart Philip Hammond after the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) revealed that receipts from the bank levy — a tax on the value of all of the liabilities of the banks — are expected to decline every year over the course of the current parliament.
The penalty has been slashed despite the OBR showing the balance sheets of the big banks continuing to rise each year.
The rate was increased just before the 2015 general election but was reduced by then chancellor George Osborne in his first Budget after that.
The cut has been continued by Mr Hammond and will see an astonishing £1.1bn giveaway this year and a total of £5.4bn by 2020.
Mr McDonnell criticised the government for sneaking through the tax concessions while presiding over cuts to public services.
He said: “Philip Hammond tried to sneak out the fact that he has continued this cut in the bank levy, which will provide big banks with a tax giveaway larger than under even George Osborne.
“The fact that we are seeing such a large handout to the biggest banks in our country at a time when we are seeing cuts to our schools, NHS and a funding crisis in our care service is truly shameful.
“Labour wants to see a fair and progressive tax system in which everyone pays their fair share, in order to build a country where no-one and no community is left behind.”