UK

Labour's Ed Balls to launch bank bonuses tax plan

Ed Balls
Image caption Mr Balls is trying to secure the backing of Liberal Democrat and Tory backbenchers for the package

Labour wants a vote on a new tax on bank bonuses to fund schemes for youth jobs and thousands of new homes, its shadow chancellor says.

Writing in the News of the World newspaper, Ed Balls warns that "Britain's Lost Talent".

He is to table an amendment to the government's Finance Bill which would take £2bn from city bonus packages.

The government has promised to tackle the "scandal" of youth unemployment, with £60m to boost apprenticeships.

Mr Balls is trying to secure the backing of Liberal Democrat and Tory backbenchers for his package.

Labour leader Ed Miliband has recently warned the Coalition government is in danger of creating a "jilted generation" of young people with its policies on cuts and education.

Mr Balls writes "Millions of us watched some exceptionally talented young people in the final of Britain's Got Talent.

"They've worked hard - but they also got the chance to shine.

'Fair tax'

"But with one in five young people now looking for work - that's almost one million - 'Britain's Lost Talent' looks a better label for where our country could be headed."

He said April's fall in the youth unemployment numbers was "welcome" but questioned whether the trend would continue.

"We need to act now to stop another lost generation of young people - like in the 1980s when youth unemployment rose for four years after the recession was over.

"That's why we need another fair tax on bank bonuses to get people off the dole and into work. It's the best way to get the deficit down - and stop Britain's talent going to waste."

Employment Minister Chris Grayling said the government was focused on dealing with the "huge challenge of youth unemployment which has been rising sharply even in the years when the economy was doing well".

He said the coalition was due to launch its Work Programme next week and planned to secure work experience places for 150,000 young people over the next two years.

"What we don't need is the old failed ideas all over again," he added.

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