Robin Hood Tax

turning a global crisis into a global opportunity – Linked on our blogs with A great way to kick off 2011 for the Robin Hood Tax, and later with Sign petition for the Robin Hood Tax.

  • It’s simple: the financial crisis and the recession have left a massive hole in the UK’s public finances. Jobs and public services are at risk in the UK while many other developed and developing countries face a similar struggle.
  • But there is another way. Thousands of Robin Hood supporters believe that banks, hedge funds and the rest of the financial sector should pay their fair share to clear up the mess they helped create. (Why we need Robin and links to topics).

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How it works – the big idea: In a nutshell, the big idea behind the Robin Hood Tax is to generate billions of pounds – hopefully even hundreds of billions of pounds. That money will fight poverty in the UK and overseas. It will tackle climate change. And it will come from fairer taxation of the financial sector.  

A tiny tax on the financial sector can generate £20 billion annually in the UK alone. That’s enough to protect schools and hospitals. Enough to stop massive cuts across the public sector. Enough to build new lives around the world – and to deal with the new climate challenges our world is facing.

So far, the UK banking bailout has cost £1.5 trillion. Or £31,250 for each and every taxpayer in the country. But the banks have already started to report record profits once again.

So it’s time for justice. It’s time for justice for ordinary families and businesses. For the one in five British families faced with a choice between buying food or paying the heating bill. For the 200 million people around the world forced into poverty by a financial crisis they did absolutely nothing to bring about.

The Robin Hood Tax is justice. The banks can afford it. The systems are in place to collect it. It won’t affect ordinary members of the public, their bank accounts or their savings. It’s fair, it’s timely, and it’s possible.

It is, in a nutshell, an idea for which the time has come.

Added later: see also the article on the Real-World Economics Review Blog, April 4, 2011.

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