Some Good Sense On The Robin Hood Tax
THIS, it’s absolutely correct in every single particular:
The Commission itself points out that a European financial transaction tax would have a serious impact on European growth. It would hit the UK economy, it could reduce European GDP by up to 3.5pc. The Commission takes the central view it would only reduce European GDP by 1.76pc. That is their central estimate that is going to cost 500,000 jobs across the European continent. Those are not my figures, these are the commission’s figures. We have just spent the whole of rest of the morning about how we can get the European economy going, how we can create jobs, how we can make sure we are not priced out of the global economy and then we have discussion about a proposals that commission itself says is going to reduce growth and costs jobs.
“We have to be realistic and truthful to our publics about who pays this tax. There is not a single banker in this world who is going to pay this tax. There are no banks who are going to pay this tax. The people who will pay this tax are pensioners, with pensions. They are taxpayers through their governments because they have to raise money on through sovereign debt auctions. This is not a tax that is paid for by bankers or banks. I am all in favour of taxes that are paid by bankers and banks that is why I have introduced a bank levy in the UK paid for by banks and their shareholders. A financial transaction tax is paid for by the end beneficiaries of financial transactions and that is pensioners. So if you want to go and introduce a big tax on pensioners that is the end result. But at least be honest about who pays this tax.
“We are not being honest about the revenue that is supposed to come from this tax even if all the business didn’t leave the European continent and we were able to collect it. This money has been spent four times over by the people around this table. It is supposed to be contributing to the EU budget, which is the commission’s proposal. It is supposed be helping national government’s fill the hole in their public finances. The third use, is to spend the money on the aid commitments that some countries around this table have not delivered on. The fourth idea, is that it should be spent on climate change commitments. So the same money has been spent four times over.
There is a problem with what is being said of course. It’s that it is being said by George Osborne, the Chancellor of the Exchequer. You know, a Bloody Tory.
However, he’s still absolutely correct in what he’s saying. The banks and bankers won’t pay this tax: it will be largely investors and consumers who do and consumers is all of us and we’re all also investors as pensioners.
The Robin Hood Tax is simply an absurdly bad idea. What’s so shocking though is that we actually seem to have a politician who not only knows the truth but is willing to say it too.
How in buggery did that happen? And from a Tory too?