Image credit: The Robin Hood Tax
The UK's top bankers may be using G-Wiz electric cars to get around these days, but that's not enough to make them popular. In fact there is as much public anger over bank bailouts in the UK as there is in the US. And while higher taxes may, in general, be a tough sell—taxing bank profits may be a little more palatable to your average man on the street. That's why activists are calling for a Robin Hood Tax on speculative banking transactions, and they want to use that money to fight climate change and poverty. Of course there will be those who decry this campaign as yet one more example of socialism disguised as environmentalism, but the fact is that taxes have to come from somewhere. And with billions of pounds of tax payer money flowing into the banking sector, it seems only fair to look at how some of that might be eventually paid back. (The campaign goes to great lengths to stress that it wants taxes on major transactions in the 'casino economy' - not your average interactions with the general public.)
The idea is gathering pace—with more than 30,000 supporters signed up since the 10th of Febuary launch. The campaign claims that US$400bn could be generated by a global Robin Hood Tax that would be split equally, with $200bn spent domestically and $200bn spent around the world. Of the money spent globally, $100 billion would go towards international development and US$100 would support developing countries as they adapt to climate change.
Think it's a good idea? Head on over to the Robin Hood Tax website and show your support. Think it's a terrible idea and yet another example of creeping socialism? Head on over to the website too—they are collecting 'no' as well as 'yes' votes. Everyone has a say.