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MP calls for windfall tax on bank closures to help save the high street

March 21, 2019 9:40 AM

On the floor of the House of Commons yesterday, South Lakes MP Tim Farron called on the Government to introduce a windfall tax on money that banks make from closing branches to go towards supporting small businesses on the high street.

Tim's plea came after the closure of the last remaining branch in the town of Grange-over-Sands was announced earlier this month.

Speaking during Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Questions, Tim said: "Small businesses and our high streets are hugely damaged by the closure of bank branches right across the country, which nets the banks, which we bailed out with taxpayers' money, a vast amount of money in savings.

"Will the Minister consider a windfall tax on the banks to ensure that we redistribute some of that money back into our high streets to support small businesses?"

In response, the business minister Kelly Tolhurst said: "The hon. Gentleman raises an important point. Tax is a responsibility of the Treasury, but as he will know, including after our conversations yesterday-this was also alluded to earlier in questions- post offices are still an important part of our high streets, and the Post Office is currently negotiating a new banking framework.

"It is absolutely right that, when banks are pulling out of our high streets, the post offices that are delivering the services are remunerated correctly for that."