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Monday, 17 October 2011

Chancellor urged to support Financial Transaction Tax at G20

Last week I gave my support to the following letter to George Osborne MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer, from the chief executives of over a hundred organisations urging him to support a financial transactions tax at the meeting of the G20 nations:

"We write to you ahead of the forthcoming meeting of G20 Finance Ministers on the 14th October to urge you to support the efforts of the French G20 Presidency to implement a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT).

International momentum for a tax on financial transactions is growing rapidly. Alongside key figures such as Angela Merkel and Bill Gates are the voices of campaigners in over 50 countries.

The concrete proposals for a Europe-wide tax are a welcome development in that they demonstrate the feasibility of an FTT amongst a group of willing nations. However the Robin Hood Tax campaign is categorical that the revenues from such a tax should not be for the EC budget, but should be used to protect front line public services, to tackle poverty at home and overseas, providing vaccines and life saving treatment for the world’s most vulnerable, and to address climate change. We are joined in this argument by the French President but also Bill Gates who supports the implementation of an FTT to help finance development, citing the UK Stamp Duty as an example of its viability.

The UK has one of the largest transaction taxes in the world, the Stamp Duty, and is a world leader in showing how to design and implement such taxes to mitigate avoidance. Expanding the Stamp Duty to capture derivatives could raise billions in additional revenue for the UK. The UK is also leading the world with its commitment to reach 0.7% of GNI as ODA and is in a position of strength to champion development and climate finance. We would ask the UK government to support the efforts of European colleagues for an FTT as a key step towards finding wider agreement amongst a coalition of willing nations at the G20.

We represent just the leading members of the over 115 organisations in the UK who back this tax and who would warmly welcome your support for it. This would be the most popular tax in history. We ask the coalition government to seize this moment and support a Robin Hood Tax in the UK."

The General Assembly has given its support to the Robin Hood Campaign.

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