Photograph by Delphine Bedel/Oxfam France
At the G20 summit on Monday, a large group of countries including Germany, France, Brazil and South Africa stood up to support a Robin Hood tax on the banks. But on Tuesday, George Osborne announced that the UK plans to block progress. His message from the UK to the rest of the world was loud and clear: “that’s not going to happen.”
The Robin Hood Tax is a brilliant idea. With just a tiny levy on the banks’ financial transactions, we could generate billions to invest in sustainable development, reducing poverty and tackling climate change. More and more countries across the globe are agreeing that now is the time to bring in the tax. It would be a tragedy if UK banking lobbyists blocked progress.
We’ve got just a few weeks to change our government’s tune. On 9th December, David Cameron will attend a European summit. The Robin Hood Tax should be on the table. We need to make sure we put him under overwhelming pressure not to block progress.
Last year, more than half the Conservative Party’s donations came from bankers. David Cameron is already worried that people think his government is in bed with banking lobbyists. We know that he changes his mind when hundreds of MPs tell him that voters aren’t happy. If enough of us email our MPs about the UK blocking the Robin Hood Tax, Cameron could decide this isn’t worth the damage to his reputation.
So let’s prove that the public are watching whose side he takes. Along with lots of others including Oxfam, Save the Children and Friends of the Earth, we can show him he can’t afford to side with the bankers against the rest of us.