Robin Hood tax fails to win DDC support

Cllr Maureen Luke
Cllr Maureen Luke

Councillors at Daventry District Council have voted not to support the so-called Robin Hood tax on financial transactions.

The tax, which has been proposed at a European level, is opposed by the UK Government.

Cllr Maureen Luke proposed a motion asking the council to write to the Government in support of the tax.

Seconding the motion, Cllr Abigail Campbell (Labour) said: “We spend a lot of our time wringing our hands about what we would do if only the financial situation was different. This motion calls on the Government to impose a tax on speculative investments, which could raise £20 billion. Three days of it would pay for 1,000 new affordable homes. A financial transactions tax on share transactions is already in place.

“We have seen that a survey showed people believe the level of benefit fraud to be 27 per cent, when in fact it is 0.7 per cent. HMRC’s tax gap, the amount of tax they estimate they don’t collect, is £30 billion. We don’t have many opportunities as a small council in middle England to send a message to the financial establishment, which really caused the recession.”

Council leader Chris Millar (Conservative) replied: “I support that the financial sector should make a fair contribution to the public purse, which is why we have the UK bank levy, something that’s more than the one-off bonus tax from the last Labour government.

“Without a global intiative, if we introduced this tax, 70 to 90 per cent of some financial markets would move away from the EU. I can’t support this motion as the Government is already committed to financial reform. This tax would see the removal of this industry from the UK.”

The measure was supported by Labour and Lib Dem councillors, but failed when the Conservatives voted against it.