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The Conservative-led government should introduce a tax on bank bonuses to help create up to 100,000 jobs for young people, Labour will demand today (Tuesday). 

An amendment to the Finance Bill, which Labour’s shadow Treasury team will push to a vote in the House of Commons this afternoon, calls on the Government to repeat the bank bonus tax introduced by the Labour Government last year. 

Labour believes a repeat of last year’s bank bonus tax, in addition to the permanent bank levy, would raise at least £2 billion this year. The funds raised should be spent on creating over 100,000 jobs: by establishing a youth jobs fund, building 25,000 affordable homes, and supporting small businesses by boosting the over-subscribed regional growth fund.   

Labour is also calling on George Osborne to temporarily reverse his VAT rise, in order to help struggling consumers and retailers, boost jobs and growth and so help get the deficit down for the long-term. 

People can sign up to Labour’s campaign by going to www.britainslosttalent.co.uk 

Ed Balls MP, Labour’s Shadow Chancellor, said: 

“Keeping young people on the dole is not just a waste of potential but a waste of money too. That’s why, instead of giving the banks a tax cut this year, the Government should adopt Labour’s plan for a tax on bankers’ bonuses and use the money get young people into work and so help get the deficit down. 

“After rising sharply in the winter, there has been a welcome fall in youth unemployment in recent months. But there are still almost one in five young people looking for work and I’m worried about the thousands of young people who will leave school or college this summer without a job or apprenticeship to go to. 

“I hope MPs from other parties will do the right thing and support our amendment to stop another lost generation of young people, as in the 1980s when youth unemployment rose for four years after the recession was over.” 

Liam Byrne MP, Labour’s Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, said: 

“Thanks to Labour’s youth jobs programme, we were beginning to win the fight to get our young people back to work. 

“Yet one of the first things the Conservative-led Government did last year was to scrap our youth jobs guarantee. Now unemployment is set to be up to 200,000 higher over the coming years than expected just a few months ago. And failing to get Britain back to work fast enough is helping to push up the benefits bill by over £12 billion – that’s £500 per household. 

“That’s why we need another fair tax on bank bonuses to get people off the dole and into work and so help get the deficit down.”

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