Monthly Archives: June 2012

Group of European countries agree to push ahead with Robin Hood Tax

Robin Hood Tax campaigners in Rome where the Eurozone Big Four met on Friday

A coalition of willing countries today agreed to press ahead with plans for a European Financial Transaction Tax (FTT). Their decision came after proposals for an EU-wide tax foundered in the face of opposition from the UK and a handful of other countries.

Speaking at the EU Finance Ministers’ meeting in Luxembourg today, Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said that ten countries were prepared to use the EU process known as ‘enhanced cooperation’ to work together to introduce the tax. The enhanced cooperation procedure requires at least nine governments to agree to work together on a proposal.

“My impression is that quite a number of member states strongly support the proposal of an FTT  in principle,” Schaeuble said after the meeting. “We should give it a try.”

Leaders of the four big Eurozone countries, Germany, France, Italy and Spain, also expressed their support for a common FTT at talks in Rome today.

“I am pleased that all four here have committed to a Financial Transaction Tax,” Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel said.

She added that the tax would be welcomed because “the people in our countries have the impression that the crisis started in the financial markets and that they have not contributed enough to the solution.”

French President François Hollande said the leaders would be pushing forward with the tax even without the support of all 27 EU countries.

“It can only come about through enhanced cooperation, and I, along with my partners, will make it so that the European council authorises us to enact that… as quickly as possible,” he said.

David Hillman, Robin Hood Tax spokesman, said: “We are delighted that a coalition of European countries has agreed to press ahead with a Financial Transaction Tax.

“But the UK public will be rightly angry that George Osborne is resisting efforts to make the City pay its fair share. A Robin Hood Tax would boost growth as well as raising billions to tackle poverty and protect public services at home and abroad. A fully functioning European FTT – combined with its continuing popularity with the public – will make this government’s opposition increasingly untenable.”

Nicolas Mombrial, Oxfam’s EU spokesperson, said: “At next week’s EU Heads of State Summit, as many governments as possible must join the French, Germans and other countries and show they’re ready to put the interests of ordinary people before those of the financial sector.

“To gain popular support, a significant part of the revenues should go to people who have been hit hardest by the economic crisis in poor countries, as suggested by Presidents Hollande and Barroso this week. Using the proceeds of a new tax only for EU projects or to pay down deficits would be a betrayal of the millions who support a Robin Hood Tax.”

Submitted by the Robin Hood Tax campaign

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Running for Robin

Stamp Out Poverty’s Director is taking part in the British 10k run to raise money for the Robin Hood Tax campaign.

On Sunday 8th July, Dave Hillman will be running for Robin, complete with green tights, at the British 10k run in London.

Dave said: “I’m supporting the amazing work this campaign is doing to get a fair tax on the financial sector”.

The Robin Hood Tax is a tiny tax on the banks that could raise billions of pounds to fight poverty at home and abroad. Small change for the banks – big change for those hit hardest by the financial crisis.

Please give as generously as you can to help transform this inspirational idea into a brilliant reality.

Sponsor Dave

New poll shows banks aren’t paying their fair share

According to a survey, more than three-quarters of the UK public do not think the Government has done enough to ensure we are “all in this together” with a large majority saying that banks and the richest have not been asked to make a fair contribution, according.

The poll of more than 1,000 people carried out by Ipsos MORI for the Robin Hood Tax campaign, found that two-thirds (68 per cent) of the public thought City funding of the Conservative Party had a significant impact on the Government’s regulation and taxation of the financial sector.

It found that 71 per cent thought banks and the financial sector are “not being asked to pay their fair share”. The corresponding figure for high income earners was 67 per cent.

David Hillman, Robin Hood Tax campaign spokesperson, said: “This is the clearest evidence yet that the public is tired of the Government’s failure to make banks pay their fair share to society. People are tired of seeing their schools and hospitals cut while a sector that relied on taxpayers’ money to survive gives lottery-sized bonuses to bankers whatever their performance.

“It is time the Government acted in the interests of the whole country not just one square mile. The City may give the Conservatives half their funds but it accounts for just 10 per cent of the UK economy.”

The poll shows the public have clearly identified the City and high earners above other groups as not paying their fair share. Only 3 per cent cited low and middle income earners. Public sector workers and business were cited by only 7 per cent and 15 per cent respectively.

Of the two-thirds of people who said the fact the Conservatives receive more than 50 per cent of funding from individuals and companies involved in the financial sector would lead to bias, 27 per cent said it would make a great deal of difference and 41 per cent a fair amount. Only 3 per cent said City funding of the Conservatives would have no affect on the Government’s decisions.

The Robin Hood Tax campaign is calling on the Government to back international moves in Europe and beyond for a financial transaction tax (FTT). Extending the UK’s current tax on share transactions to bonds, currencies and derivatives could raise an additional £20bn to tackle poverty at home and abroad and fight climate change.

The campaign has won the support of Bill Gates, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Vatican, the first ministers of Scotland and Wales and more than a thousand economists. At the G20 summit in November, France, Germany, Spain, Italy, South Africa, Brazil and Argentina backed an FTT and a proposal for an EU-wide FTT is currently being championed by the European Commission.