10 February 2010
On the day of its launch BECTU had signed up to the Robin Hood Tax campaign and hopes that many more organisations and individuals in their millions will do the same.
Commenting on the campaign launch, general secretary, Gerry Morrissey said:
"The Robin Hood Tax campaign is ultimately about fairness. Is it right that the banking community should be bailed out to the point of worldwide recession leaving ordinary people to pay the price and to see causes in which they believe - better public services, employment, stopping world poverty, addressing climate change - set back decades? No, absolutely not. That is why I am pleased to sign up my union to this important campaign."
Turning a crisis for the banks into an opportunity for the world - Robin Hood Tax campaign
What is the Robin Hood Tax campaign?
To date, the financial crisis has cost more than $1 trillion in bailouts to the UK banking sector, caused significant increases in unemployment in both the developed and developing world and led to many businesses collapsing. The consequences also include cuts to public services, reductions in aid budgets and arguably the failure to agree the necessary financing of mitigation and adaptation costs of climate change at the Copenhagen Summit.
Rewriting the social contract
There is a once in a generation opportunity to get a Financial Transaction Tax agreed this year. It would potentially raise hundreds of billions of dollars, and rewrite the social contract between the financial sector and the public, putting people first. A tax of just 0.05% could stop the worst cuts in public services, and help fight poverty in the UK. It could pay for climate change adaptation and other green measures. It could pay for health and education in the global south and help to achieve the Millennium Development Goals.
Broadest possible coalition
Linked to similar campaigns around the world, we aim to become the broadest possible coalition of UK civil society - development NGOs, climate change campaigners, anti-poverty groups, trade unions, faith groups and women’s organisations. Campaign supporters at launch
We are calling for a tax on all major wholesale financial transactions – such as currency exchange, share dealings and derivatives trading. The revenues from such a tax should be split 50-50 between domestic spending and spending on global public goods, which would then be split 50-50 between development/MDGs and climate change. This should neither replace planned expenditure nor be passed on by the banks to their customers. And whilst we campaign for an international tax, Europe and the UK do not have to wait for the rest of the world to act.
Launch statement from the Robin Hood Tax campaign
10 February 2010