BANK profits should be used to compensate people who lost pensions when their employers went bust, says an MP.
The windfall tax idea was the pre-Budget suggestion made by Huddersfield MP Barry Sheerman, battling for the pensions of 60,000 "forgotten" workers.
In a plea in the Commons he said some workers, including a Huddersfield man, had lost out simply because they had stayed on to try to save a firm they had worked for all their lives.
The Government is setting up a fund to protect workers from losing out in the future - but action is being demanded to help up to 60,000 people already affected.
Mr Sheerman said: "I remember back in 1979, when the Conservative government introduced a retrospective tax on bank profits.
"Wouldn't this be a good way to finance the 60,000 people who have been dealt with so badly?" he asked.
Labour's former social security minister Frank Field suggested another source of money could be "dormant" bank accounts.
"The Chancellor has briefed the media, saying he has plans to take some of the unclaimed assets from banks and building societies and use it to finance charitable activity.
"Most people in this House believe charity begins at home. No better way of using those funds at home would be to finance the pensions of those who have lost their pensions due to their firms winding up."
Mr Sheerman said later: "I am delighted legislation is coming in to protect workers in the future. But we need help now for these who through no fault of their own have lost out."
Pensions minister Malcolm Wicks said Mr Field's proposal was among a number of options being examined.
But he added that he did not want to raise false hopes.
He attacked Tory MP Nigel Waterson, who had said there was a "strong moral case" for the workers to be compensated.
The minister said the subject was too serious for "mere partisanship" and accused the Opposition of trying to vote down the Pensions Bill, which will create the protection fund.