City AM attack Osborne’s “short-sighted” banking policy

A City AM Editorial today defends British finance and business interests. It described George Osborne's policy as "short-sighted, ignorant of the empirical evidence"

City AM Editor, Allister Heath, was on fine form this morning in his Editor’s Letter as he put his interview with the “intelligent and decent” Alistair Darling into perspective. None of the parties were spared as he  defended British finance and business interests.

Mr Heath’s anger was primarily directed at the Lib Dems who he described as “the most left-wing party in British politics by a fair distance” with “a long list of destructive ideas based around the glorification of an outsized state”. He also turns his ire on the Labour party’s National Insurance rise and 50p tax rate.

But there was also a surprising rebuke for the Tories. Heath writes:

“Darling’s banking policy is less bad than that of the Tories, which is short-sighted, ignorant of the empirical evidence and more interested in tapping into popular hatred than building a more robust and successful industry.”

The Conservative manifesto includes a number of ideas which have been criticised including:

• offering a “people’s bank bonus”, which would privilege a few taxpayers at the expense of the many and which has been described by Nils Pratley in the Guardian as “utterly unfair“;

• introducing a unilateral levy on banks if international agreement cannot be agreed – an approach described by Lord Mayor of London, Nick Anstee, as “bonkers“;

• creating a National Loan Guarantee Scheme which Andrew Lilico, the Managing Director of Europe Economics, described on Conservative Home as a “terrible idea“; and

• breaking up the tripartite system which FSA chief executive, Hector Sants, described as inviting a “a fragmentation of approaches and a ‘turf war’ between the different bodies involved” and is opposed by FSA regulator Lord Adair Turner.

In the interview with City AM, the Chancellor said, “I don’t want to do anything that would make people think about going somewhere else. There is a substantial risk that if you do something unilaterally, they have that option.”

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