Saturday, April 18, 2015

Robin Hood Tax and Peter Bottomley

Personally I favour expropriating the 1% but as requested by 38 degrees, I have sent the following letter about the modest proposal for a "Robin Hood" tax..

I'm a constituent in the parliamentary seat that you are contesting, I would like to know your views on the Financial Transactions Tax (FTT), popularly known as the Robin Hood Tax. My reason for asking this question is that I will be asking all your opponents the same question and I will vote, and encourage others to vote, on the basis of the answer I receive. If the answer I receive is nothing or yet another complaint about 38 degrees, I will draw my own conclusions.

Currently, on the European mainland, 11 countries including France, Germany, Italy and Spain are about to introduce an FTT. The revenue will not go to Brussels but to their own Exchequers and, if all assets discussed are included, it has the potential to raise in the region of £30 billion a year.

That money could be used to pay back the cost of bailing out the financial sector and the on-going problems the global financial crisis caused, as well as ensuring that international commitments to combat global poverty and climate change are met.

The financial sector can certainly afford this tax - which would be charged at a fraction of 1% on finance firms rather than individuals – in the same way that it has borne tens of billions in fines due to a host of misdemeanours from product mis-selling to rigging currency rates. Moreover, an FTT would improve the financial system by tackling short-termism and reducing destabilising activities such as High Frequency Trading.

It is often forgotten that the UK currently has an FTT - the 0.5% Stamp Duty on share transactions, which successfully raises £3bn a year. I think the UK should extend our existing FTT to other financial transactions, joining other European countries, to regulate and tax the financial sector more. 

Every day, we hear that there will be more and more cuts. Surely it is high time the sector behind the financial crisis bears a greater burden of the costs of sorting it out.

I look forward to hearing your views.

*Please email for more information or if you'd like to declare your position on the Robin Hood Tax, which will then be published on the Robin Hood Tax campaign's website:

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