Savings levy of up to 10 per cent imposed in Cyprus

Chancellor says Brits in Cyprus on military or government service will be protected from the levy.

People are rushing to withdraw their savings from the bank in Cyprus after an EU/IMF bailout agreed on Friday imposed levy on bank deposits of up to 10 per cent on bank deposits.

The €10bn bailout will result in people with less than €100,000 in their accounts paying a one-off tax of 6.75 per cent, while those with deposits over that threshold will pay 9.9 per cent. Depositors will be compensated with the equivalent amount in shares in their banks.

The deal requires the approval of the country's parliament. An emergency session and presidential address due to take place today have been postponed until tomorrow, according to the BBC.

The Mail on Sunday reports that up to 60,000 British savers could lose money as a result. However, appearing on The Andrew Marr Show this morning, Chancellor George Osborne confirmed that Brits in Cyprus on military or government service would be protected from the levy.

He also wasted no time in pointing to the crisis in Cyprus as proof that Britain can't "change course" from his economic plan.

People withdraw their money at ATMs in the Cypriot capital Nicosia. Photograph: Getty Images
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The NS Podcast #176: Younge, guns and identity politics

The New Statesman podcast.

Helen and Stephen are joined by author and editor-at-large for the Guardian, Gary Younge, to discuss the findings of his new book: Another Day in the Death of America.

Seven kids die every day from gun violence in the US yet very few make the national news. Is there any way to stop Americans becoming inured to the bloodshed? The enraging, incredibly sad and sometimes peculiarly funny stories of ten kids on one unremarkable Saturday attempt to change that trend.

(Helen Lewis, Stephen Bush, Gary Younge).

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