Germany set to bring in a levy on banking sector

GERMANY’S coalition government looks set to introduce a banking levy in order to cover the cost of future bailouts.

It is understood Angela Merkel’s cabinet could approve the tax as early next week.

The move is designed to protect taxpayers and prevent banks from relying on public money.

Volker Kauder, the parliamentary leader of Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc, said: “Provisions must be made so that if it gets difficult they pay for things themselves.”
The new proposal is likely to raise billions of euros after the German government paid out €500bn (£448bn) to its banks in 2008.

The Tories announced similar proposals at the weekend and said they would act unilaterally if necessary.

Shadow chancellor George Osborne said yesterday: “This is welcome. It comes just days after David Cameron confirmed that a Conservative Government would introduce a bank levy and shows that we are part of the mainstream of international thinking on this issue.”

Labour backs a levy on banks, but only if it has widespread international backing