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My Oxfam Valentine

February 15, 2011

I’ve got a nice big pink Valentine card on my desk.  It’s been signed by no less than 18 secret people.  Sadly, I think they’re after my vote rather than my body.  The card comes from the Bristol branch of Oxfam.

They want me to ask my friend and colleague Chris Huhne, the Energy and Climate Change Secretary, to do more to protect the planet’s poorest people from the effects of climate change.

I support the broad principle of a Robin Hood Tax.  The “tax” has three parts to it.  The government has already implemented the first, a levy on bank balance sheets.  The second, a Financial Activities Tax, is under consideration.  Such a FAT would be an extra tax on bank and other financial sector profits.  The third element, a tax on international transactions (so called Tobin tax) is more tricky as it needs international agreement.

Oxfam also want more taxes on aviation and shipping.  I have long supported more effective taxes on flights and this area is under review, as required in the coalition agreement.

You can see Oxfam’s blog and me getting my card in Broadmead here

And if there is a real admirer out there, I’d like to hear from him!

5 Comments leave one →
  1. kenneth permalink
    February 15, 2011 5:26 pm

    I just want to offer a word of caution Stephen.Please be careful about seeking maximum publicity,because you could be admonished for it by your colleague Jon Rogers as I was for actually thinking that by seeking maximum publicity progress can be made.

    • February 15, 2011 10:45 pm

      Publicity for good causes is part of the democratic process, just like debate and lobbying. But so is giving credit to politicians when they get things right (or right eventually…) as well as criticising them when they get things wrong or you disagree.

  2. Ben permalink
    February 17, 2011 1:17 pm

    Would be great to hear what readers of this blog think about the Robin Hood Tax and how to finance the Climate Fund agreed at the UN Cancun Climate Change Conference.

    The Lib Dem constitution states

    “We look forward to a world in which all people share the same basic rights, in which they live together in peace and in which their different cultures will be able to develop freely. We believe that each generation is responsible for the fate of our planet and, by safeguarding the balance of nature and the environment, for the long term continuity of life in all its forms.”

    I think a party that prides itself on these values should do all it can to push for a Robin Hood Tax, it would be a great achievement and legacy of what Lib Dems can do whilst in government.

  3. February 22, 2011 4:46 pm

    If British banks such as Barclays were paying more than 1% corporation tax, and multinational companies such as Vodafone were not being allowed £6 billion tax breaks for no good reason we might not even need a robin hood tax. If loopholes and the use of tax havens were properly regulated, and multimillionaires and billionaires could even be made to pay the same percentage of tax as a lowly member of the public, then maybe we could afford a few luxuries like libraries and public green spaces. Just a thought.

  4. Paul Smith permalink
    March 1, 2011 10:14 pm

    Shame on you for turning blue!

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