Verdict: Robin Hood down, but not out, at G20 Summit

27 June, 2010 | Health and Education For All
Actor and Oxfam Global Ambassador Bill Nighy leads the G8 out of the woods, toward a Robin Hood Tax.
Actor and Oxfam Global Ambassador Bill Nighy leads the G8 out of the woods, toward a Robin Hood Tax.

After the G8 disgracefully dropped the ball on aid at what has been dubbed the ‘Summit of shame’, the G20 today missed their chance to score against poverty by failing to move towards a Robin Hood Tax on banks.

The Canadian prime minister managed to persuade countries like South Africa and India that this ‘taxing banks business’ would be an imposition on poor countries, when in fact the opposite is true. Big financial centers and the real casino banking is taking place in rich countries and this is where the money would come FROM. It should go TO fighting poverty and climate change, both at home and abroad.

Let’s look at the context of these two Summits:

  • Aid levels have been frozen despite the commitment to increase them to 0.7% of GNI (40 years later, and only five – Norway, the Netherlands, Denmark, Sweden and Luxembourg – have kept this promise).
  • Climate change is hitting poor people now: Oxfam estimates that in Asia alone, about 1 billion people would face risks from reduced agricultural production, reduced water supplies or increased extreme weather events.
  • The economic crisis, mostly created by financial speculation in rich countries, is also hitting poor countries harder where people are already on the frontline of poverty.
  • Almost 1,000 women die unnecessarily every day in childbirth and in complications related to pregnancy.
  • 1 billion people are still going to bed hungry every night.

These problems are interlinked, unnecessary and morally unjustifiable. Rich countries should stop hiding behind their creative accounting and face up to the fact that they need to deliver on their promises and start investing in the future. Now.

The deadly numbers game

  • $1 billion+ is what the Canadian government has spent (to date) on three days of Summit security
  • $1 billion - the amount Canada has pledged for child and maternal health over 5 years (Oxfam estimates the need equates to $10 billion annually)
  • $1 billion - what Canada should contribute to the Fast-Start Climate Fund
  • $2 billion – what Canada spends on subsidizing the fossil fuel industry annually
  • $20 billion – ‘missing’ so far from G8 promised aid (of $50bn promised, $25bn of which to Africa)
  • $650 billion - what a Robin Hood Tax could raise annually
  • $2 trillion - total amount given in aid in past 50 years
  • $18 trillion - total amount spent in 2009 to bail out banks

Of course, it is not all a numbers game. However, money can literally mean life or death for people in poor countries, and money that has been delivered through past Summits has been proven to make a BIG difference. Two examples are debt relief for the most vulnerable countries, and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which saves 3,000 lives a year.

As it stands the G20 today ‘agreed to disagree’ on whether or not everyone should implement some form of bank tax. Some will and some won’t. It is however fair to say that none of the options on the table so far has been extensive enough to qualify for what we would dub a true Robin Hood Tax – a tax that is big enough to raise $650 billion a year globally, and that will be used for ‘global goods’: fighting poverty domestically, cover the shortage of funds needed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, climate change mitigation and adaptation in developing countries and fighting poverty on a global scale. 

The Robin Hood Tax is a great idea whose time has come. And the game isn’t over yet. When the G20 meet next in Seoul in South Korea we will make sure that world leaders are reminded of the benefits this tax could bring. Until then, make sure you add your name to the campaign. If we don't see you in Seoul, we'll see you somewhere sometime soon in the Sherwood Forest!

Background

A Robin Hood Tax could generate enough:

  • In 17.5 hours, to fill the three-year funding shortfall to eradicate polio ($1.3 billion)
  • In two days, to provide secure land tenure and upgrade housing to people living in slums ($3.5 billion)
  • In four days, to fully replenish the annual budget of the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, TB and Malaria ($7 billion)
  • In eight days, to bring free universal primary education to the 72 million children who are currently not in school ($10 - $15 billion annually)
  • In 12 days, to cover the shortfall in the G8’s pledge to increase aid by $50 billion by 2010 ($20 billion)
  • In two weeks, to reduce infant mortality by two thirds ($20-$25 billion)
  • In two-and-a-half weeks, to provide universal access to water and sanitation for the one billion people who lack it ($30 billion)
  • In less than three months, to bring solar power to 2 billion people ($143 billion)
  • In three and a half months, to cover the costs of climate change adaptation and mitigation in developing countries today ($150 billion)
  • In four-and-a-half months, to pay off the debts of the world’s 48 poorest countries ($220 billion in 2007), freeing up much needed resources that could be used to hire more teachers and nurses.

Comments

Robin Hood Tax

I really despair that Oxfam has thrown its support behind a financial transaction tax.  Don't you realize how many people and individuals will never donate to Oxfam and other political movements that support such an idea?

Normal 0 false false false EN-GB X-NONE X-NONE Whilst no doubt well intentioned, such a tax strikes at the heart of competition and trade, adopting it globally would be the worse scenario of all for the world economy.  It is NOT a 'bankers tax', this is a misleading and dangerous slogan, it cannot be 'tiny' because, for one, it would destroy my livelihood overnight.  It is clear that you are lumping all traders and speculators with bankers, and have not considered the wider implications for financial market bid-ask spreads, market liquidity, increased market volatility, resulting higher costs to government in financing its large budget deficits, costs to farmers hedging their commodity produce, costs to pensioners, savers and investors.  The only way that anyone could justify calling it a 'bankers tax' is because banks would actually BENEFIT from a Financial Transaction Tax due to the reduction in competition from other financial participants who specialize in market making, price arbitrage and price discovery.

I think that there is a misconception that all traders and speculators are responsible for the financial crisis...they are NOT...bankers, regulators and policy makers are, and there is a world of difference between small traders, and investors RISKING THEIR OWN CAPITAL, and traders employed at a bank RISKING OTHER PEOPLE'S CAPITAL, where the incentives are skewed to taking excessive risks. 

The irony behind the Robin Hood Tax Campaign is that there already exists a Robin Hood Foundation (http://www.robinhood.org/), targeting poverty, founded by speculator/trader Paul Tudor Jones!  Jones began as a humble clerk, but his philanthropic organization would not even exist if Jones had faced a Financial Transaction Tax because it makes the activities of the short term price arbitrageur unprofitable.  That is indeed the intention of the many anti-capitalists who jumped on board James Tobin's original idea, or indeed some dictators such as Fidel Castro, who have supported a Tobin Tax at the United Nations. 

Founder Paul Tudor Jones is a huge inspiration to myself and others...in his recent speech, "How To Fail", he describes how his own personal failings were a key element to his life's journey.  I am quite sure that many within your organization would see the positive impact men like Jones have as a role model for others who have made mistakes in their lives.  Please read his speech, it is very inspiring:-
http://www.businessinsider.com/paul-tudor-jones-how-to-fail-2009-6

My dream is to one day follow in Mr Jones' footsteps in establishing my own philanthropic organization to tackle poverty.  There are other traders and investors such as George Soros, who began penniless and yet have given billions to worthwhile causes, including funds to black students during apartheid South Africa, supporting non-violent democratization in Central and Eastern Europe, internet infrastructure for regional Russian Universities, and many other ventures. 

Neither Mr Jones nor Mr Soros could have assisted such worthwhile causes without the profits earned from their speculative and trading activities, just as I hope to, but this is not the image of traders, investors and speculators that is portrayed by politicians and by the media.  We DO hear of 'short sellers' when stock prices or the national currency falls, and 'oil speculators' when commodity prices in general rise, as if debt, deficits, central bank money printing and commodity shortages have nothing to do with the decisions of market participants and risks to investors!  It is very unfair to lump all traders and speculators with greedy individuals working at large banks (in part acting recklessly due to implicit bailout guarantees from the Government), whilst claiming to fight global poverty or climate change, when in the process you are implicitly making unfair moral decisions and destroying livelihoods for the supposed greater good.

You may or not know that a financial transaction tax has been tried before in Sweden from 1984 to1991, an experience that can quite simply be described as disastrous. In July 2006 Research Analyst Marion G.Wrobel examined the international experience with financial transaction taxes in a paper prepared for the Canadian Government, and he highlighted the Swedish experience:-

In January 1984, Sweden introduced a 0.5% tax on the purchase or sale of
an equity security. Thus a round trip (purchase and sale) transaction
resulted in a 1% tax. In July 1986 the rate was doubled. In January
1989, a considerably lower tax of 0.002% on fixed-income securities was
introduced for a security with a maturity of 90 days or less. On a bond
with a maturity of five years or more, the tax was 0.003%.

The revenues from taxes were disappointing; for example, revenues from
the tax on fixed-income securities were initially expected to amount to
1,500 million Swedish kroner per year. They did not amount to more than
80 million Swedish kroner in any year and the average was closer to 50
million.

In addition, as taxable trading volumes fell, so did revenues from
capital gains taxes, entirely offsetting revenues from the equity
transactions tax that had grown to 4,000 million Swedish kroner by 1988.

On the day that the tax was announced, share prices fell by 2.2%. But
there was leakage of information prior to the announcement, which might
explain the 5.35% price decline in the 30 days prior to the
announcement. When the tax was doubled, prices again fell by another 1%.
The taxes on fixed-income securities only served to increase the cost of
government borrowing, providing another argument against the tax. Even
though the tax on fixed-income securities was much lower than that on
equities, the impact on market trading was much more dramatic.

During the first week of the tax, the volume of bond trading fell by 85%, even
though the tax rate on five-year bonds was only 0.003%. The volume of
futures trading fell by 98% and the options trading market disappeared.
On 15 April 1990, the tax on fixed-income securities was abolished. In
January 1991 the rates on the remaining taxes were cut in half and by
the end of the year they were abolished completely. Once the taxes were
eliminated, trading volumes returned and grew substantially in the 1990s.

Aside from the Swedish experience with such taxes, there is considerable
research that demonstrates that "a transaction tax is likely to amplify,
not dampen, volatility in foreign exchange markets."
Source: Lanne,Markku and Vesala,Timo (2006) "The Effect of a Transaction
Tax on Exchange Rate Volatility," Bank of Finland Research Discussion
Paper No. 11/2006

Robin Hood Tax

I really despair that Oxfam has thrown its support behind a financial transaction
tax.  Don't you realize how many people and individuals will never donate
to Oxfam and other political movements that support such an idea?  Whilst no
doubt well intentioned, such a tax strikes at the heart of competition and
trade, adopting it globally would be the worse scenario of all for the world
economy.  It is NOT a 'bankers tax', this is a misleading and dangerous
slogan, it cannot be 'tiny' because, for one, it would destroy my livelihood
overnight.  It is clear that you are lumping all traders and speculators
with bankers, and have not considered the wider implications for financial
market bid-ask spreads, market liquidity, increased market volatility,
resulting higher costs to government in financing its large budget deficits,
costs to farmers hedging their commodity produce, costs to pensioners, savers
and investors.  The only way that anyone could justify calling it a
'bankers tax' is because banks would actually BENEFIT from a Financial
Transaction Tax due to the reduction in competition from other financial
participants who specialize in market making, price arbitrage and price
discovery.

I think that there is a misconception that all traders and speculators are
responsible for the financial crisis...they are NOT...bankers, regulators and
policy makers are, and there is a world of difference between small traders,
and investors RISKING THEIR OWN CAPITAL, and traders employed at a bank RISKING
OTHER PEOPLE'S CAPITAL, where the incentives are skewed to taking excessive
risks. 

The irony behind the Robin Hood Tax Campaign is that there already exists a
Robin Hood Foundation (http://www.robinhood.org/), targeting poverty,
founded by speculator/trader Paul Tudor Jones!  Jones began as a humble
clerk, but his philanthropic organization would not even exist if Jones had
faced a Financial Transaction Tax because it makes the activities of the short
term price arbitrageur unprofitable.  That is indeed the intention of the
many anti-capitalists who jumped on board James Tobin's original idea, or
indeed some dictators such as Fidel Castro, who have supported a Tobin Tax at
the United Nations. 

Founder Paul Tudor Jones is a huge inspiration to myself and others...in his
recent speech, "How To Fail", he describes how his own personal
failings were a key element to his life's journey.  I am quite sure that
many within your organization would see the positive impact men like Jones have
as a role model for others who have made mistakes in their lives.  Please
read his speech, it is very inspiring:-
http://www.businessinsider.com/paul-tudor-jones-how-to-fail-2009-6

My dream is to one day follow in Mr Jones' footsteps in establishing my own
philanthropic organization to tackle poverty.  There are other traders and
investors such as George Soros, who began penniless and yet have given billions
to worthwhile causes, including funds to black students during apartheid South
Africa, supporting non-violent democratization in Central and Eastern Europe,
internet infrastructure for regional Russian Universities, and many other
ventures. 

Neither Mr Jones nor Mr Soros could have assisted such worthwhile causes
without the profits earned from their speculative and trading activities, just
as I hope to, but this is not the image of traders, investors and speculators
that is portrayed by politicians and by the media.  We DO hear of 'short
sellers' when stock prices or the national currency falls, and 'oil speculators'
when commodity prices in general rise, as if debt, deficits, central bank money
printing and commodity shortages have nothing to do with the decisions of
market participants and risks to investors!  It is very unfair to lump all
traders and speculators with greedy individuals working at large banks (in part
acting recklessly due to implicit bailout guarantees from the Government),
whilst claiming to fight global poverty or climate change, when in the process
you are implicitly making unfair moral decisions and destroying livelihoods for
the supposed greater good.

 

You may
or not know that a financial transaction tax has been tried before in Sweden
from 1984 to1991, an experience that can quite simply be described as
disastrous. In July 2006 Research Analyst Marion G.Wrobel examined the
international experience with financial transaction taxes in a paper prepared
for the Canadian Government, and he highlighted the Swedish experience:-

In January 1984, Sweden
introduced a 0.5% tax on the purchase or sale of
an equity security. Thus a round trip (purchase and sale) transaction
resulted in a 1% tax. In July 1986 the rate was doubled. In January
1989, a considerably lower tax of 0.002% on fixed-income securities was
introduced for a security with a maturity of 90 days or less. On a bond
with a maturity of five years or more, the tax was 0.003%.

The revenues from taxes were disappointing; for example, revenues from
the tax on fixed-income securities were initially expected to amount to
1,500 million Swedish kroner per year. They did not amount to more than
80 million Swedish kroner in any year and the average was closer to 50
million.

In addition, as taxable trading volumes fell, so did revenues from
capital gains taxes, entirely offsetting revenues from the equity
transactions tax that had grown to 4,000 million Swedish kroner by 1988.

On the day that the tax was announced, share prices fell by 2.2%. But
there was leakage of information prior to the announcement, which might
explain the 5.35% price decline in the 30 days prior to the
announcement. When the tax was doubled, prices again fell by another 1%.
The taxes on fixed-income securities only served to increase the cost of
government borrowing, providing another argument against the tax. Even
though the tax on fixed-income securities was much lower than that on
equities, the impact on market trading was much more dramatic.

During the first week of the tax, the volume of bond trading fell by 85%, even
though the tax rate on five-year bonds was only 0.003%. The volume of
futures trading fell by 98% and the options trading market disappeared.
On 15 April 1990, the tax on fixed-income securities was abolished. In
January 1991 the rates on the remaining taxes were cut in half and by
the end of the year they were abolished completely. Once the taxes were
eliminated, trading volumes returned and grew substantially in the 1990s.

Aside from the Swedish experience with such taxes, there is considerable
research that demonstrates that "a transaction tax is likely to amplify,
not dampen, volatility in foreign exchange markets."
Source: Lanne,Markku and Vesala,Timo (2006) "The Effect of a Transaction
Tax on Exchange Rate Volatility," Bank of Finland Research Discussion
Paper No. 11/2006

 

IP LAWS The real tax on the poor

Normal 0 false false false false EN-US X-NONE X-NONE THE EQUAL RIGHTS OF A CHILD TO AN EDUCATION
WITHIN A GLOBAL KNOWLEDGED BASED, INFORMATION SOCIETY
IRRESPECTIVE OF THEIR, or THIER FAMILY’s
SEX, COLOR, CREED, NATIONALITY OR SOCIAL/ FINANCIAL STANDING

It is the right of every child to have equal access to an education irrespective of his or her colour, creed, nationality, ethnicity or social & financial status so he or she may obtain gainful employment and contribute to the growth of his or her society in the 21st century. Within a knowledge based global society the basic tools of education must include educational & operational softwares.
The interpretation of Intellectual Property Laws today is a morally unjust construal of the law and must be immediately revisited so as to allow the poor children of our global societies their human right to an equal education.
We must rally all those who seek equality for all the children of the world, irrespective of their sex, colour, creed, nationality, or financial standing, to join the fight against those who seek only riches, by economically coercing poor & developing nations to enforce their immoral interpretations of the Intellectual Property Laws.
UNITED NATIONS HUMAN RIGHTS
Article 1.
·    All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood.
The Declaration of the Rights of the Child
1.    The child must be given the means requisite for its normal development, both materially and spiritually.
2.    The child that is hungry must be fed, the child that is sick must be nursed, the child that is backward must be helped, the delinquent child must be reclaimed, and the orphan and the waif must be sheltered and secured.
3.    The child must be the first to receive relief in times of distress.
4.    The child must be put in a position to earn a livelihood, and must be protected against every form of exploitation.
5.    The child must be brought up in the consciousness that its talents must be devoted to the service of its fellow men.
Surely ‘The United Nations Human Rights’ & ‘The Declaration of the Rights of the Child’ leave no doubt that it is the right of every child to have equal access to education, irrespective of his or her, colour, creed, nationality, ethnicity, age or financial status.
Knowledge now forms a major component of all human activity, economic, social & cultural and has become the major creative force of all developed societies, hence creating new ‘Knowledge Based’ societies & economies. Knowledge is gained from access to education, hence both are essential elements for the development of all children, societies, countries, economies & humanity.
Knowledge societies are not a new occurrence. Fishermen have long shared the knowledge of predicting the weather to their community and this knowledge gets added to the social capital of the community. What is new is that,
·    With current technologies, knowledge societies need not be constrained by geographic proximity
·    Current technology offers much more possibilities for sharing, archiving and retrieving knowledge
·    Knowledge has become the most important capital in the present age, and hence the success of any society lies in harnessing it.
All governments & individuals who truly believe in Human & Child Rights & the equality of all, must surely also believe in providing equal access to all information & tools required for their education, irrespective of a child’s, colour, creed, nationality, religion, ethnicity, age or financial status. Hence the tools & information required for a child’s education should not be withheld for the monetary gain of a few. Humanity can never allow a global society to develop that promotes the haves & have nots of a basic education.
In this high tech, computerised, interconnect world of the 21st century, both filled & reliant on high speed access to information no one country, state, city, community or village can hope to compete on equal footing with others unless their children have equal access to the programs & softwares that all others enjoy as part of their education & vocational training.
All men & women, have but their labour to give, or trade in return for the basic necessities of life, of which education is one. A man or woman from a developing country is not a lesser man or woman than that of one from a developed country. Their labour has always afforded them the basic necessities of life within their own communities because their government ensures the cost of the basic necessities of life are commensurate with the average weekly income of their country. The advent of a ‘Global Economy’ has however strained this basic principle of human existence for the poorer nations & people..
Software Piracy does not occur because the populations of poorer, or developing countries are inherently criminals. It occurs because the young people of these developing countries need to gain an education that their families can no longer afford, because of the exorbitant costs of ‘legal copies’ of these very necessary educational software programs.
PUTTING THE PROBLEM IN CONTEXT
2009 Average Salaries for Developed Nations
     Luxembourg 49,663 2   United States 49,483 3   Ireland 44,013 4   Switzerland 42,980 5   Netherlands 42,514 6   Australia 42,019 7   United Kingdom 40,825 8   Belgium 40,591 9   Norway 40,177 10   Denmark 39,143 11   Austria 38,682 12   France 35,430 13   Germany 35,292 14   Sweden 33,586 15   Japan 31,773 16   Finland 31,211 17   Italy 29,198 18   Spain 28,871 19   South Korea 27,587 20   Greece 26,929 21   Hungary 21,161 22   Czech Republic 18,922 23   Portugal 18,300 24   Poland
In 2009 the average weekly wage of an American is approximately $950 / week or 49,483 /annum
The cost of Microsoft Office is $499 (December 2009)
This equates to a parent who is earning $23.70 / hour, paying the equivalent of 21 hours of their labour ( approx 3 days) to buy an essential educational tool for their child’s education .
In Vietnam the average weekly wage is $25 / week ,or $1,300 / annum
The cost of Microsoft Office is $499
This equates to a parent who is earning $0.62 / hour paying the equivalent of 804 hours (approx 100 days) of their labour to buy an essential educational tool for their child’s education .
We stated earlier that all workers have but their labour to give or trade for the necessities of life. So with that in mind if we were to reverse the situation for American workers, by developing a proportionate cost for Microsoft Office based upon their hours of labour, we would find that they would need to pay $19,050, (equivalent to 804 hours of labour,). If this was the retail price of Microsoft Office in America we would surely expect to see a Software Piracy Industry emerge in America similar to that of which we presently see in developing countries. Not because American children over night had suddenly become criminals, but because the cost of the tools needed for an education had suddenly exceeded their parent’s ability to buy.
Intellectual Property Laws are meant to protect the rights of an author to his or her developed intellectual works from being copied. They should never be misinterpreted or misused to protect his or her rights to riches, by way of exploitation or disregard of the basic human rights of all.
Equal rights must not be idle worlds of the rich, or already haves. The right of every child to shelter, food, safety & education are fundamental human rights, far outweighing economic or intellectual property rights which would not be considered fundamental Human Rights by any moral, thinking human being.
INDEXING INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY RIGHTS
Within a global, economic society the only way to achieve equal rights & access for all to an education & job, is to put in place a ‘Global Index System’ based upon the average salary of a country.
A simple example of this would be to allot America the base index of ‘1’. Hence ‘1’ would equal the average annual wage of America.
If in 2009 America’s average salary is $49,483.00 then this number will become the base (1) for all other index calculations.
If Australia’s average salary is $42,019 then its index would be 0.84 (42,019 divided by 49,483 = 0.84)
If Vietnam’s average salary is $1,300 then its index would be 0.0262. (1,300 divided by 49,483 = 0.0262)
The Intellectual Property Rights of any Educational or Vocational software would then be valued, within any country, by taking the price the software is retailing for in America and multiplying it by that country’s index. (These indexes would be set by a reputable organisation such as the World Trade Organisation (WTO) or United Nations (UN) and would be updated each year.)
Hence for equality of access by the children of Vietnam to Microsoft Office the price should be the price of Microsoft Office ($499) multiplied by Vietnam’s index of ( 0.0262) which means for equality of access the sale price for Microsoft Office should be $13.07.
INTERUM ACTION
Countries cannot disadvantage their young citizens to the right of an education by enforcing unjust & unequal global laws, when those laws do not take into account the differences between a developing and developed country. If developing countries enforce present interpretations of Intellectual Property Laws, they are ensuring that their countries will forever remain developing nations by dramatically impeding the young peoples of their countries from ever gaining the necessary education that will allow them to compete equally within the global economy, as computer literacy & skills in the 21st century are just as important as literacy itself.
Until there is a decision reached regards this very important matter, companies & governments should restrain from prosecuting persons in developing countries for using educational & vocational pirated software.
If companies do prosecute during this time of decision making, developing countries must rally behind each other and fight the case in the highest courts of their lands and in front of the Human Rights Tribunal.
If developed governments, global organisations or software companies believe that a moratorium on prosecutions for the use of pirated software is wrong then maybe they need to start implementing an interim scheme which would see Microsoft Office retailing in the United States for $19,000. This would be another way of achieving equality for all the young of the world in the short term.

 

 

Thanks for your comments

Dear Ben W, thanks for all your thought-provoking comments!

To be clear, Oxfam is part of a huge network of organisations, charities, networks, unions, leading economists (like Jeffrey Sachs) and individuals supporting the introduction of a Robin Hood Tax. Globally, the movement is growing day by day and there are now campaigns in Germany, US, Canada, France, Australia and many other places. At a time when we are facing unprecedented challenges; the financial crisis, poverty, increased food insecurity and climate change, we need new bold solutions to fight these. These challenges are also hitting the poorest first and worst and as Oxfam we are working to ensure this injustice is tackled. In my opinion we have a responsibility to look at every possible solution presented in a fair, analytical and transparent way. The Robin Hood Tax is one of these solutions that we believe can make a huge difference to the poorest people around the world.

There is a good blog post here: http://robinhoodtax.org.uk/debate/something-pongy-what-to-look-out-for-when-politicians-talk-about-bank-taxes/

On the Swedish example you bring up. It has been argued that the Swedish turnover tax failed due to bad tax design and the resulting migration of trading volume. The introduction of a Robin Hood Tax would have to learn from this experience to make sure that it does deliver what is intended to. You can read more about that here: http://europeansforfinancialreform.org/en/stop-speculation/concrete-examples

We know that many countries are now tightening their belts and this could mean for instance cutting health or education spending or increasing VAT. Or looking at a new way of raising funds. The Robin Hood Tax will fall on some of the wealthiest people and institutions, those most able to pay, and in my opinion this would be a fair way of raising the money that is needed. Banks, hedge funds and other big financial institutions together make profits in the region of £1250 billion a year, not including banker bonuses. We need a game-changing idea and we need it now.

You can read in more detail here about what we mean by a Robin Hood Tax here: http://robinhoodtax.org.uk/faq/what-is-the-robin-hood-tax/