Like so many people in Bristol West, I support the campaign for a Financial Transaction Tax (also know as the‘Robin Hood Tax’).
I believe our banking sector needs to be reformed so it is more sustainable and competitive and so that our banks work for savers, investors and the small and medium-sized businesses that have found it so difficult to get the finances they need to invest and grow. I also believe that the banks should make a significant contribution to repaying the debts that were incurred as a result of the banking crisis.
The next Labour Government will increase the current Bank Levy to fund an increase in free childcare from 15 to 25 hours a week for working parents of three and four year olds and we will introduce a bank bonus tax to pay for a Jobs Guarantee for young unemployed people. Labour will also reform our banking system to make it more competitive in the long-term, including by introducing at least two new challenger banks and a market share test.
Labour will continue to campaign for an international Financial Transaction Tax (FTT), covering major financial centres. We agree that this should be looked at to see if it could be introduced in a way that would raise additional revenue while making financial transactions less volatile and more sustainable. It is also important that any FTT should incorporate the widest possible global participation to mitigate the risks of traders simply playing one jurisdiction against another.
The Tory-LibDem Government, however, has failed to engage on this issue because they always stand up for a privileged few. In particular they have refused to back Labour’s call for a bank bonus tax and spent taxpayers’ money opposing the EU bonus cap.
I believe we need a Labour Government that will make fairer choices – reforming our banking system, clamping down on tax avoidance, cutting the deficit every year and putting the right values back at the heart of our public services.