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Robin Hood Tax – A Note of Caution

November 2, 2011

The Robin Hood Tax a.k.a. Financial Transaction Tax a.k.a. Tobin Tax, seems like a brilliant idea – a tax of a tiny fraction of a percent on the trillions and trillions of ‘socially useless’ global financial transactions, but the devil is in the detail. ‘Gekko’ at claims that the Occupy movement is falling into a globalist trap.

‘Gekko’ suggests that the idea came up in 2009 and that it was proposed that the World Bank would adminster it, and it is likely to go towards more bank bailouts, thus creating more ‘moral hazard’. He even suggests it will be applied at a higher rate on ATM withdrawals. Is he right? Who knows?

Others suggest that that the EU wants its grubby hands on the tax.

The campaign group Robin Hood Tax campaign group argues that the tax should be used to pay for public services. That suggests that the rate should be agreed internationally, but that it be administered by national governments, who are at least in theory answerable to their peoples.

If politicians take up this idea people like Rowan Williams ought to be asking pretty searching questions about the detail.

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