The campaign for a Robin Hood Tax on financial transactions has been gathering steam over the last two weeks as support for the measure is growing. Three hundred and fifty economists and over 120,000 members of facebook have all signed up. I attended the campaign’s Parliamentary launch around in February, I believe it was a Wednesday, and I wasn’t able to sign Early Day Motion 913 in support of the campaign at the time due to my PPS responsibilities, but I have gone one better and put them up on the website.
For those unaware of this campaign let me explain. The proposals would see on average a 0.05% tax on speculative transactions that could raise hundreds of billions of pounds each year. The money could be spent on a multitude of worthy causes such as tackling poverty, both here and abroad, and dealing with Climate Change. As we move out of the global recession we need to ensure that global banking agreements and policies secure our future. This scheme, which could benefit millions of the poorest in our society and across the world, will only be possible if we look for an international agreement and if we are not afraid to challenge big businesses and banks to do their bit for society.
This won’t be good news for the Tory peer Lord Griffiths, whose friends at Goldman Sachs attempted to sabotage the campaign with a mass computerised vote on the campaigns website. Griffiths, who is International Advisor to Goldman Sachs, has consistently supported banker bonuses and will undoubtedly be leading the Tories against the tax. As my Labour colleague, Steve Pound MP, put it that week at PMQs, “I think we know all know who speaks for the Sheriff of Nottingham!”
The campaign is still growing in support and you can join in at the Robin Hood Tax website. Please watch the video below, featuring one of the campaign’s most high profile supporters, Bill Nighy, as he acts out the part of a banker: