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Scotland backs the Robin Hood Tax

Posted by Jamie Livingstone Head of Oxfam Scotland

10th Oct 2011

We support proposals for a new Financial Transactions Tax (FTT) and believe Scotland should send a clear and united message in support of the measure.

Branded the Robin Hood Tax by some campaigners, the FTT will not affect retail banking including individuals' savings and mortgages. Instead it will target the speculative trading such as shares, bonds, foreign exchange and derivatives.

The recent economic crisis was triggered by the financial sector but has inflicted immense costs and hardships on ordinary citizens in both the developed and developing world. It is therefore time for those who caused the crisis to make a greater contribution to help safeguard livelihoods and lives both at home and abroad.

An FTT is the fairest available tool to generate the extra funds, and we support the Robin Hood Tax campaign proposals which state these funds be used to tackle global poverty, climate change and to curb cuts to crucial public services. Estimates suggest in the UK alone an FTT could generate £20bn every year.

Amid growing momentum, now is the time to make the FTT a reality.

We support the European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso who says the tax "will be the banks' contribution to a fair society". We support Germany, France, Spain - along with Brazil, South Africa and Argentina - who all want the creation of such a tax. And we support Bill Gates who also firmly backs an FTT.

On 3rd and 4th of November in Cannes a meeting of the G20 heads of Government will take place to discuss issues surrounding the world economy and in particular the financial markets. This meeting is a real opportunity for the Robin Hood Tax proposals to be properly debated and agreed upon, it is a chance for the heads of Governments to make a real difference. The UK Coalition Government is increasingly isolated in its opposition; we urge them to change course.

It's time to stand up and be counted; it's time for new measures to ease the economic crisis; it's time for the Robin Hood Tax. We support it and so should Scotland, so please sign the petition.

We're also calling on individuals and organisations to spread the word about the petition which can be directly accessed here -

Blog post written by Jamie Livingstone

Head of Oxfam Scotland

More by Jamie Livingstone