Thursday, February 11, 2010

Taxing speculation Robin Hood stylee

It's nice to see the Tobin Tax doing the rounds again, this time re-branded as the Robin Hood Tax. Although, to be fair, the organisers claim it's not the same thing at all, because Tobin wanted a way to slow down the rate of international financial speculation and the Robin Hood-ites just wants to redistribute some of the proceeds.

This Robin Hood Tax is the very simple idea that by raising a tiny tax (a puny 0.05%) on bankers' speculative transactions we would raise a phenomenal amount of revenue which could be put to good uses - nurses, international development, and the like. The hundreds of billions a year this tax raised could do an enormous amount of good rather than simply feeding the fires of the financial casino.

Mark Thomas was ranting about this idea tonight on Radio Four, Patrick Harvie MSP is raising the idea in the Scottish Parliament and even the gorgeous Bill Nighy is on board.

I think the idea of a micro tax on speculation is perfectly winnable, although rather than see it as a purely revenue raising technique I'd like to see that money raised specifically for international development so it doesn't just go into the nuclear weapons pot or the tax breaks for the rich silo. But no one listens to me anyway, grumble, grumble.

The more popular we can make the idea of the redistribution of wealth and a sustainable economy the better. This campaign is definitely part of that.

The campaign video is rather enjoyable, although I'll be honest and confess that I'd listen to Bill Nighy read out the phone book and still be perfectly happy. Obviously this youtube clip has a better political message than the phone book and so is much more worthy of your time.

Hilarious update: It seems that Goldman Sachs may have been up to some dirty games if this report in the Guardian is anything to be believed.


Anonymous said...

We do listen to you Jim (sometimes, and selectively of course)!

Amanda said...

Yes, grumble, grumble! Liked him Love Actually. I suppose 0.05% is a start!?

michael greenwell said...

I always think of him in Shaun of the Dead but it's a good post anyway!