What can we learn from Robin Hood?

Fair enough, I’ve been a little slow to catch up on this one. The Robin Hood tax campaign proposes a levy on all major financial transactions to provide funding for, it seems, a variety of causes (there’s a fair bit of debate about where the money would go). As you can imagine the banking world have not been entirely welcoming of this idea, though several heads of government (including our own) have openly discussed something similar. There have also been the counter arguments that it would never work, drive business away from the UK (if we went solo with the proposal) and then of course the sceptics have seized upon proceeds funding corrupt African regimes (Why is it always Africa? It’s not the only place to struggle with this). Some of these are legitimate; others are simply a case of scaremongering. One thing I respect is the integrity of Duncan Jones when he responds to the criticisms.

New innovative policy ideas have never been more needed than right now, where the pursebelt is so tight. We don’t yet know how far the deficit will take us down the road of cuts and taxation increases but one thing’s for sure- it’s that road and no other. A recent survey proclaimed that voters wanted services preserved above all else, which begs the question: How would you like to contribute to that? We need to be honest as voters but first, we need honesty from our politicians. As Michael White points out, there is a real danger that the parties are playing the same game. That is, not telling us the whole truth. And when they do tell it like it is we should avoid hysterical over-reaction.  Wealth redistribution through the tax system is not a compulsory Biblical strategy but looking after the most vulnerable is. So how are we going to do it in these challenging times? Now, it’s time I got back to choosing the colour of my bathroom wall tiles.


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