THE UK government and other commentators are blithely rolling out the line that a financial transactions tax – a “Robin Hood tax” – would have to be implemented globally, or UK interests would be damaged.
It is a simple, sustainable and fair tax of just 0.05% on financial transactions like bonds and derivatives, which could raise £20bn in the UK alone.
This money could help to combat poverty at home and abroad, and help those struggling to adapt to climate change.
However, despite the overwhelming evidence it would work – economically, sustainably and morally – the UK government is digging its heels in to protect the richest financial institutions from paying a fair share.
However, in recent years, financial transaction taxes have been introduced very effectively in more than 40 countries around the world.
Implementing a Robin Hood tax would hardly be noticed on profit lines, yet it would raise billions to help people most in need.
The financial institutions which helped cause the financial crisis are currently under-taxed.
Such institutions can be a force for social good, but they must start carrying their fair share of the financial burden we all face.
The question is, will their friends at the top of the UK government make them?
L Barnett, via email
How come he’s suddenly unfit?
ACCORDING to Labour and Lib Dem MPs on the Culture and Sport Committee, Rupert Murdoch is not fit to run a media company.
It is not too long ago that the Labour Party seemed to think this was a top company, and Mr Murdoch an excellent businessman.
In fact, the links were so close that Tony Blair was asked to be Rupert Murdoch’s daughter’s godfather.
The reality is that, for 12 years, Mr Murdoch was considered by Labour to be a suitable person to run a media company. Sky’s digital service was launched in 1998, and most of the 10m subscribers signed up during Labour’s tenure without a squeak from any critical MPs.
While the phone hacking scandal has highlighted illegality at News International, the evidence shows other newspapers were also doing exactly the same thing.
Taking all this into account, the utterings of the Labour Party, can be seen in a partisan light. Would the Leveson Inquiry exist if Mr Murdoch had not dropped Labour?
BS, via email
A qualified view on hiring Roy
Roy Hodgson’s appointment as manager of the England football team seems to have caused great surprise.
Is this because he is intelligent, articulate, multi-lingual, unfailingly polite, and already has a CV which includes international football management? No wonder we were all caught out.
Name and address supplied