Robinhood tax!!

Dani Rodrik points to this tax on a very rare blog post – Robinhood tax. It is an initiative started by many organisations that work to reduce poverty in the UK and overseas, and campaign to tackle climate change.

They plan to raise funds for poverty and climate change actions by taxing financial firms:

How it works

The Robin Hood Tax is a tiny tax on bankers that would raise billions to tackle poverty and climate change, at home and abroad.

By taking an average of 0.05% from speculative banking transactions, hundreds of billions of pounds would be raised every year.

That’s easily enough to stop cuts in crucial public services in the UK, and to help fight global poverty and climate change.

Why now?

Because of the financial crisis, frontline services at home – like the NHS and our schools – are under fire.

At the same time, poor communities and the environment are being hit hard – as aid and green budgets are slashed by rich countries.

So it’s time for the people who caused this mess to pay to clean it up.

Who’s in?

Gordon Brown, Angela Merkel (the German Chancellor) and Nicolas Sarkozy (the French President) have all spoken out in support of a tax on financial transactions.

Plenty of business bigwigs are on-board too. Like Lord Turner (from the Financial Services Authority), George Soros (the philanthropist) and Warren Buffet (US businessman extraordinaire). And then there are the hundreds of economists who have backed the idea, too.

This isn’t some crazy pipedream. It’s a simple and brilliant idea which transcends party politics and which – with your support – can become a reality.

Hmmm. Lord Turner’s initial idea has found many takers in UK.

I like the name Robinhood tax. Like Robinhood who passed the riches to poor, the tax plans to do the same. Actually because of the name and the broad idea, it might be pushed by politicians and the public as well. As Blinder says in this superb piece for economists advising governments – Getting a good name for a proposal/reform is  as critical as the proposal/reform itself. 

I was also thinking about the Obama’s proposal to seperate commecial banking from speculative finance. By calling it Volcker rule, it could go either way. Some politicians/economists might associate the proposal as a very good one as it has the name of Paul Volcker who is highly respected. Some might not as they may not like Volcker. Atleastb the financial lobby does not like him. You know it can go eitherway. But with something like a Robinhood tax…you make an impact immediately.


Rodrik has not been blogging for a while now. He says somethings suddenly ignite his urge to blog.  Well it is a real loss for not getting to read his blogposts regularly. Hope he gets ignited more frequently.


2 Responses to “Robinhood tax!!”

  1. Smit Gade Says:

    I think Mr. Tim Harford has also written about Robinhood Tax..He says that wont work..You van find it here

  2. Kartik Varadpande Says:

    It is similar to Tobin tax (after the nobel laureate economist).

    The problem is that all countries have to implement it simultaneously. Otherwise trading activity will move to places where there are no transaction taxes.

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