Time for the Robin Hood Tax to go local
Campaigning for a Robin Hood Tax has taken me from planning meetings in Congress House with Comic Relief’s Richard Curtis to protests in revolutionary Tunis, an interview with Australian radio sat on the doorstep of my nephews’ Melbourne bungalow and lobbying in the US Congress with a Labour Shadow Minister. We’ve decorated the outside of the Bank of England with a light show, and painted an actor in Cannes to represent an ailing global economy tended by Bill Nighy and members of the National Nurses of America. The Nepalese campaign visited a whole load of Ambassadors in exotic-sounding Kathmandhu ahead of the 2011 G20 summit.
A Brazilian legislator was so impressed by the campaigners at the Rio+20 climate talks that he wore his green Robin Hood Tax hat into Congress the next day. Robert Reich’s just signed a letter in favour of the tax, Archbishop Desmond Tutu’s written an editorial and Baroness Shirley Williams guest edited Radio 4’s Today on the subject. The Zero Zero Cinque campaign in Italy and the Steuergegenarmut campaign (for a tax against poverty) in Germany are key allies.
11 European Union member states are negotiating the implementation of the tax (whatever the financial sector spin doctors tell you!) and the UN and Vatican have endorsed an idea that even the International Monetary Fund agrees is progressive and practicable.
So what more do we need for the campaign to take off? We want your local Council to back the tax, and we want you to talk to your Councillors (or email them) to make that happen. And that’s not all…
We want all the councils across the country to pass a motion declaring their support. We need you to get all your friends, family and work mates to contact their Councillors. Spread the word on twitter, facebook, and whatever else you use. If you’re a member of a political party, raise the issue there. There are a host of materials on the Robin Hood Tax campaign website.
The government cuts to public services will hurt everyone. Local councils have been hit the worst. A Robin Hood Tax could help provide money for local councils and services, and redirect resources away from the City of London and fat cat bankers’ bonus packages towards local communities across the country. Ordinary people have been paying a harsh price for the financial crisis – it’s about time the banks paid their fair share for the crash that they helped cause.
Robin Hood’s coming to your town. Ask your local councillors to take a stand for the Robin Hood Tax.