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PPI: UK banks should pay extra £3.5bn in taxes, says Alan Johnson

UK banks should pay an extra £3.5 billion a year in taxes to help reduce the budget deficit and limit the need for public spending cuts, according to Alan Johnson.

The shadow chancellor claimed the plans for a banking levy developed by the coalition government are "inadequate" compared to the effects of the upcoming benefit cuts to families.

"The banking sector is contributing £2.4 billion, while child benefit freezes and cuts will raise substantially more," Mr Johnson said.

"So families take the strain while bankers grab the bonuses. There is no justification for such an unfair sharing of the burden. So we will ask the Government to think again and come forward with proposals for the banks to make a greater contribution."

In his first major speech since being made a member of the shadow cabinet earlier this month, Mr Johnson claimed he wanted taxes to play a bigger role in reducing the deficit.

Labour is now aiming for tax rises to account for 40 per cent of the deficit reduction programme, with the remainder drawn from spending cuts, compared to the 30 per cent announced by former chancellor Alistair Darling. ADNFCR-2776-ID-800122424-ADNFCR

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