Hoodwinked, or the world's biggest bank job?

alistair-darling-788031549This is the motto of the latest tax campaign, the Robin Hood Tax. Shamelessly stolen from the Daily Mirror who came up with this gem of a picture back in 2008 when then Chancellor Alistair Darling came up with the idea of a 45% tax, which miraculously became 50% a few months later, this new campaign also wants to steal from the rich and give to the poor, but with a few character changes.

The rich targets of this new campaign are the villains of the hour, the banks, specifically those with investment divisions – HSBC, Barclays and RBS.

The campaign, a coalition of 115 UK organisations including Actionaid, Oxfam, Friends of the Earth, Save the Children and the TUC, want to levy a 0.05% charge on certain financial transations and then redistribute that wealth.

Although it is at this point the message gets a little vague. Max Lawson, spokesperson for the Robin Hood Tax Campaign, says: “If banks paid their fair share we could avoid the worst of the cuts and help those hit hardest by the financial crisis they did nothing to cause". The campaign calls for justice, “justice for ordinary families and businesses. For the one in five British families faced with a choice between buying food or paying the heating bill. For the 200 million people around the world forced into poverty by a financial crisis they did absolutely nothing to bring about.”

We also have some lovely stats about bankers bonuses,

  • “The total bonus pot for the UK’s largest three banks, Barclays, HSBC and RBS, is expected to be approximately £5 billion, enough money to reverse real term cuts to the NHS budget this year.
  • This year’s bonus pot for Barclays Capital alone (£2.6 billion) could reverse cuts to the Education Maintenance Allowance, Disability Living Allowance and Housing Benefit combined.
  • Lloyds and RBS, who are majority owned by the government, will reward their CEOs a total of £3.5 million (Eric Daniels £1.45 million, Stephen Hester £2.04 million) in bonuses, enough to pay for 160 teachers”

But we aren’t talking about taxing bankers’ bonuses here (been there, done that), so, while lovely and emotive, I am not sure they are relevant?

What emerges is that this campaign appears to actually be a “financial transactions tax for climate funding”, and that the ‘poor’ in this robin hood play is actually not the poor British family, but some trees:

“There is strong justification for the revenue from financial transaction taxes to be directed towards global issues, like climate change and international development. The justification is that although revenue generated from a FTT would be highly concentrated in a few countries, namely those with major financial centres, investors the world over would pay the tax when using central market places.”

Not sure about you, but I think I could use my share of the bank bail out (£31,250) slightly better than a tree.


  • Dick
    They had a spokesman on some sunday night programme with Adrian "Piles" Chiles. Alan Sugar made him look a bit of a twat when asked why not apply it to all transactions, and not just bank transactions.
  • Herp D.
    Neither Barclays or HSBC recieved bailouts as they weren't retard comapnies like RBS and Northern Cock so this tax seems pretty fucking stupid - particularly as they'll just eventually fuck off overseas, taking jobs and economic revenue with them
  • Nob
    Their website says "£5 billion pays for health care for 200,000 people" under the worldwide section. Fuck that. That is £2.5 million to pay for healthcare for just one (foreign) person. To be honest, I think the money could be better spent.
  • tin
    It's actually 25 grand....
  • andy y.
    Oh it's the Simpson's bear tax again
  • Dick
    This revenge tax is a great idea. Let's charge any Germans working in the UK, or coming to visit the UK, higher taxes because of the war.
  • TimB
    Riiiight. One slight problem: Can you actually see the banks going "Oh, you want a load of money from us? OK, here you go" and then carrying on as normal? Not a chance. Suddenly, everything will have a charge. Say goodbye to free debit card transactions, cash withdrawals, statements, paying in, internet banking, and everything else you currently enjoy.
  • Els
    The banks should know it's the ordinary people who will eventually break them. Remember the queues outside of Northern Rock? Piss them off, get them frightened and there is a run on the bank. The end.
  • klingelton
    communists. that's all these fucking tree huggers are. fucking communists. we live in a democratic capitalist society where the rich are rewarded for hard work. they shouldn't need to have their wealth re-appropriated to some fucking lazy jeremy kyle watching scab on society.

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