Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Robin Hood Tax.

This is the video which Richard Curtis has put out on You Tube to promote a Robin Hood tax which would force bankers - the people who tax payers have bailed out to the tune of billions, whilst still paying themselves massive bonuses - to donate 0.05% levied on each bank trade ranging from shares to foreign exchange and derivatives, creating a cash pile to be spent on measures to combat domestic and international poverty as well as fight climate change.

A slick advertising campaign by Empire Design features slogans such as: "This is the first tax you'll be in favour of" and "Small change for the banks, huge changes for the world".

"As a result of the financial crisis there are suggestions there's no money to fight climate change, there's talk about cuts to schools and there's concern where the money will come from to meet the Millennium Development goals," Curtis said. "There is money in the banking system. There has been a huge expansion in banking activities. And yet we may all have to pay more VAT on everything we buy.

"I understand it is complicated and contentious and there are other ideas on the table, but what we are trying to create is an instinctive link between fixing banks and the huge challenges facing people on this planet. Do we drop promises on child poverty or do we tax the British public? Or do we work with banks to find a solution?"

The tax has long been demanded by campaigners but brushed aside by politicians and bankers as an impossible dream. Buoyed by the support of the UN, Gordon Brown last year became the first global leader to publicly call for its introduction as a way for banks to compensate society for causing the global financial crisis.

It's a tiny amount to ask the banks to pay and it could generate as much as $700 billion worldwide to be spent on worthwhile causes.

I am glad that Curtis has put his weight behind this. It is not unreasonable that we ask the banks to give something back. After all, if they can afford to give themselves bonuses, they can afford to give 0.05% of their dealings to good causes.

Click here for full article.

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