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Anorak | The Robin Hood Tax: It Won’t Work You know

The Robin Hood Tax: It Won’t Work You know

by | 2nd, December 2011

SO we get, hot off the presses, the report from the House of Lords Committee looking into the Robin Hood Tax (or financial transactions tax, Tobin tax, call it what you will):

A European tax on financial transactions could cost Britain’s economy up to 20 times the amount it raises, a committee of lawmakers said on Friday.

Britain has said a transaction tax, dubbed a Tobin Tax after the U.S. economist who devised it in the 1970s, would only work globally and the EU plans are “deeply confused.”

Britain is fiercely opposed to the proposed financial transaction tax (FTT), which the European Union said could raise 57 billion euros (49 billion pounds) a year if implemented across the bloc.

“The FTT is likely to induce a loss in GDP between five and 20 times larger than the revenues raised from the tax,” according to an economic sub-committee of the House of Lords, the upper chamber of the parliament.

And that’s only one of the reasons why it won’t work: others being that banks won’t pay it, workers and consumers will, there’s no point at all in having it unless it’s global, it’ll raise volatility in the markets, not reduce it and so on.

But there the committee has identified the real reason it is entirely useless, counter-productive even.

It won’t raise any money.

Oh, sure, we’ll see the money coming in from the tax all right. But what we won’t be seeing is the money from all the other taxes we already have as the economy shrinks as a result of the tax. And, what’s really joyous about this point, about it shrinking the economy, is that these numbers don’t come from any neo0liberal bastard like me, who you would assume to be already against the tax. The numbers come from the EU’s own official report into the effects of the tax.

This is official information, not some something cooked up round the back to make a point.

Although I will admit, I wrote one of the reports to the committee which pointed out this interesting little fact, even if I didn’t invent the fact.

Nice when people actually listen to you, isn’t it?



Posted: 2nd, December 2011 | In: Money Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink