Green Party Supports Robin Hood Tax


The Green Party supports the Robin Hood tax campaign at and resolves to include a financial transactions tax in its 2010 general election manifesto.

The Green Party re-emphasises its commitment to a fairer society both in the UK and globally.

The Robin Hood Tax differs fundamentally from James Tobin’s original concept as its principal motivation is the raising of revenue as opposed to being a way of regulating speculative financial activity.

James Tobin first proposed his tax in the 1970s as a way of ‘throwing sand in the wheels’ of currency markets rather than harnessing their extraordinary volumes as a means of generating income. More recently the idea of a wider Financial Transactions Tax covering the full range of products traded in the financial markets, has gained ground. Even levied at a very low rate, a yield of $400 billion a year could be realised.

The media as a means of shorthand refer to the Financial Transaction Tax as the Tobin Tax.  In fact, Tobin made his proposal specifically about currency transactions. When he made his proposal 30 years ago, the foreign exchange market had a daily value of $18 billion.  The market is now worth more than $3,000 billion per day. Tobin’s proposal was for a 1% levy, 200 times the rate the Robin Hood Tax campaign is proposing for the taxing of foreign exchange. The purpose of his tax was to impede daily currency trading and to discourage speculative activity, not as we propose to be a means of raising new revenue to fight poverty, at home and abroad.

The Robin Hood Tax differs markedly from the Tobin tax in that it is born of a different time, proposed at a different rate and designed for a different purpose.

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