Scotland's First Minister backs the Robin Hood Tax

Posted by Jamie Livingstone Head of Oxfam Scotland

30th Apr 2012

Alex Salmond calls on David Cameron to "speak up" for the measure


Oxfam Scotland welcomes Alex Salmond's public support for the Robin Hood Tax

The First Minister used a radio phone-in today (Monday) to back a Financial Transaction Tax with the money spent on tackling poverty at home and abroad, and climate change. 

During Radio Scotland's Call Kay programme, Mr Salmond backed an international Robin Hood Tax - branding it: "such an attractive idea".

He added: "I would speak up in favour of the concept". 

The First Minister questioned why the UK Government isn't actively promoting the measure - which he says could raise "a huge amount of money" to tackle poverty and climate change. 

Judith Robertson, head of Oxfam Scotland, said: "It's great news that the First Minister is advocating the Robin Hood Tax. 

"We've seen other European countries voicing similar support and they are now actively working towards the implementation of a Robin Hood Tax at the European level. 

"More and more people believe Europe could lead the way and show that while a global tax would be ideal - like-minded countries can come together to adopt the Robin Hood Tax now.

"Within this context, Mr Salmond is right to call on the UK Government to champion it.

"He has added his voice to the growing number of international supporters of this tax and, by doing so, the First Minister is echoing the voices of ordinary Scots. 

"A poll for Oxfam showed that 62% of Scots support the tax. The reason is simple: the Robin Hood Tax is about fairness."

Mr Salmond's intervention comes a day after Cardinal Keith O'Brien, Scotland's most senior Catholic, called on the Prime Minister David Cameron to back the tax. 

Mr Salmond has joined the growing list of political, business and civic leaders who support the measure including: the billionaire businessman Bill Gates, French President Nicolas Sarkozy, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and the investor Warren Buffett. 

A global Robin Hood Tax of 0.05% imposed on financial transactions such as derivatives, bonds and foreign currency could raise £250 billion a year. 

This equates to just 50p on every £1000 traded. It would not apply to retail banking. 

Notes to editors:

The Robin Hood Tax campaign is a coalition of 115 organisations: www.robinhoodtax.org.uk

The campaign has 250,000 supporters and is endorsed by over 1,000 economists and politicians from all main political parties.

Supporters of the RHT include Labour leader Ed Milliband, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Archbishop Rowan Williams, Secretary General for the United Nations Ban Ki-Moon, former vice President Al Gore, financier George Soros, Chairman of the Financial Services Authority Lord Adair Turner, film-maker Michael Moore, Nobel Prize-winning economist and former Senior Vice President of the World Bank Professor Joseph Stiglitz, American business magnate Warren Buffett, and 1000 economists from 53 countries.

The UK currently implements a 0.05% stamp duty on all share transactions - raising around £3 billion each year - without driving the financial sector overseas.

For more information contact Jamie Livingstone, Communications and Campaigns Manager, on 07803 970489.

ENDS

Blog post written by Jamie Livingstone

Head of Oxfam Scotland

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