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Boris throws down the gauntlet to George Osborne to abolish Labour's supertax on bankers' bonuses

Boris Johnson smiling Before Christmas, London Mayor Boris Johnson outlined his fear that Alistair Darling's 50% tax on bankers' bonuses over £25,000 risked "super-penalising" London. 

But he has now upped the ante by suggesting that up to 9,000 bankers may leave the City as a result of the tax and that the capital and the country would be losing out.

He has written to Treasury Select Committee chairman, John McFall, demanding an urgent inquiry into the matter:

"One bank told my office that 1,600 of its staff had asked since the Pre-Budget Report for help in relocating from London. Another bank told me that it is considering moving 700 to 800 staff from London in the near future as a direct result of the bank payroll tax.

"Even if institutions decide not to move out of London entirely, many will chose to relocate key functions and personnel in other places around the world perceived to be more welcoming than the UK."

He estimates that 9,000 bankers leaving the City would lose the Government £1.2 billion in lost tax and National Insurance.

But whilst the mayor is voicing opposition to Labour Government policy, it would seem the day is fast approaching where there will be cohabitation between a Tory mayor and Tory Government.

And the Daily Mail interprets Boris Johnson's latest salvo as being equally aimed at the Conservatives:

"Mr Johnson threw down the gauntlet to Shadow Chancellor George Osborne to rule out extending the fiscal grab, which is meant to last for only one year.

"The Tories have no plans to dump the supertax, which could be worth up to £5 billion to Britain's embattled public finances."

Make no mistake, Boris is his own man and if David Cameron becomes Prime Minister, he is not going to be afraid of challenging him and his colleagues.

Jonathan Isaby


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