Saturday, 29 October 2011

38 Degrees backs suicidal Robin Hood Tax – 100% of nothing is nothing

38 Degrees seems to be hedging its bets on the Robin Hood Tax. It has set a petitions page but it does not mention it on its home page, on its news page or its official twitter feed. I guess they want to focus on their NHS campaign and they want to be current without stealing the limelight from British charity Oxfam which is behind the rebranding of the Tobin tax as the Robin Hood Tax. Nice job but not what a charity should be about.

Lots of “progressive”, haven’t-a-clue about money or the way of the world types are retweeting their mini campaign. Various other charities and unions are also pushing this campaign. The 38 Degrees campaign did not come up through their public voting system. Yet another example of the 38 Degrees activists being a law unto themselves.

38 Degrees is still ignoring their most popular request for a campaign to give EU resident UK pensioners the same pensions as UK resident UK pensioners. It has 7,559 signatures to-date but the young activists who run 38 Degrees clearly don’t think that it is sexy enough.

If you want to understand why a Tobin tax would be very expensive and stupid for the UK take a look at this video by Professor Philip Booth of the Cass Business School in London.

The Robin Hood Tax (Oxfam campaign) started off asking for 5 basis points (0.05%) and hoped to raise £20 billion a year in the UK alone.

The EU proposal asks for 10 basis points and hopes to raise £50 billion. They don’t mention quite so loudly that £40 billion or 80% would come out of the UK in theory.

The activists behind Occupy Wall Street,, are now asking for 1% and trying to make today a big day for the Occupy campaigns. Expect some facile coverage of this facile event on the news this evening.

Of course this is all fantasy. 100% of nothing is nothing. When Sweden introduced a financial transactions tax the transactions fled the country and they raised 3% of what they were expecting. Doh! Don’t expect Australia, Russia or Singapore to go for this. They would happily take our financial services industry.

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