Green Party Policy #57: the Robin Hood Tax

The Green Party formally adopted the Robin Hood Tax into policy at Conference in February. This is long overdue, as we have seen the banks bankrupt the world. Our aim would be a proper Tobin Tax to curtail casino-type trading.

(DISCLAIMER: the idea that I hold Alistair Darling either dear or a darling should not be inferred from the following).

Alistair Darling (HM Treasury)

Dear Mr Darling,

Like many of the tens of thousands of supporters of the Robin Hood Tax I will be looking closely at your budget.  I hope you are not planning any measures that would mean people like me will again have to bear the brunt of paying down the deficit.

I strongly believe a tiny tax on major financial transactions is the fairest way to address the economic challenges we face. You could start on March 24th by putting a small tax on sterling currency transactions. This would hit multi-million pound trades by banks, not people’s holiday money.  It could raise at least £3 billion every year to deal with the budget deficit, and provide extra money to address poverty and climate change. The UK’s leadership would also pave the way for other Robin Hood taxes at a global level.

The Treasury’s response at http://www.hm-treasury.gov.uk/global_tax_campaign_information.htm demonstrates that you are taking my views seriously. I am encouraged. To be clear: what I urge you to consider here is a unilateral sterling currency transaction tax in the Budget ahead of further international negotiation. I am not discussing an “insurance levy” in this instance.

Last year we all bailed out the banks and for many of them the worst has passed. But for people in the UK and around the world, the financial crisis is far from over.  It’s time for those who caused the crisis to take greater responsibility in putting our public finances right.  I hope your budget will reflect this and that you will introduce the first Robin Hood Tax, on sterling.

A copy of this message has also been sent to the prospective parliamentary candidates in my constituency.

You may be interested to see how other MPs and candidates are engaging with us at http://robinhoodtax.org.uk/your-action/

Yours sincerely,

Martin Deane

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