I support proposals for a new Financial Transactions Tax (FTT) and believe Scotland should send a clear and united message in support of the measure.
Branded the Robin Hood Tax by Oxfam and other campaigners, it would not affect retail banking like individuals' savings and mortgages. Instead it would target speculative trading on things like shares, bonds, foreign exchange and derivatives.
The recent economic crisis was triggered by the financial sector but has inflicted immense costs and hardships on ordinary citizens in both the developed and developing world. It is therefore time for those who caused the crisis to make a greater contribution to help safeguard livelihoods and lives, both at home and abroad.
A tax of this kind is the fairest available tool to generate the extra funds and I support the Robin Hood Tax campaign proposals which state these funds be used to tackle global poverty, climate change and to curb cuts to crucial public services. Estimates suggest in the UK alone an FTT could generate £20bn every year. Amid growing momentum, now is the time to make it a reality.
I support the European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso who says the tax “will be the banks’ contribution to a fair society”. I support Germany, France and Spain – along with Brazil, South Africa and Argentina – who all want the creation of such a tax. I support the Pope, the Archbishop of Canterbury and even Bill Gates who also back an FTT. I believe the UK Coalition Government is increasingly isolated in its opposition; I urge them to change course.
It’s time to stand up and be counted; it’s time for new measures to ease the economic crisis; it’s time for the Robin Hood Tax. I support it and so should Scotland.
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