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Experts: Robin Hood tax on banks will work

A tax on bank transactions to help fight poverty and prevent future economic crises is feasible, argued experts at University of Copenhagen event

A minimal Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) will translate into very important revenues. This was according to experts on a panel discussing the issue at an event organised by the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS).

Stephan Schulmeister, an economist at the Austrian Institute of Economic Research in Vienna, dealt with the most theoretical part of the FTT concept at the seminar, while Max Lawson, Senior Policy Advisor with Oxfam UK, was in charge of the politics of it.

A Financial Transaction Tax is a tax charged on financial transactions, which some economists believe could prevent future financial crises.

Robin Hood economics

A tax of 0,05% could raise around USD 700 billion per year.

The collected tax money would go towards helping people in developing countries and tackling climate change.

Some call this tax the ‘Robin Hood Tax’. Lawson, who chairs a ‘Robin Hood’ campaign, explains that the tax has become popular recently.

People want this to work

»People are really passionate about this,« said Lawson.

On Facebook, those in favour and those against the tax have eagerly expressed their concerns.

»There is a lot of involvement, because people want this to work,« underlined Max Lawson.

No need for all to move at once

The debate focusses on the application of the FTT and its technical feasibility.

Germany and France are key actors in developing the FTT, Lawson believes. Both countries have shown interest in the issue and are serious about seeing that it goes through.

While these countries support an FTT, other countries like Sweden and the US, remain reluctant.

But Lawson remains optimistic: »Contrary to what is believed it does not need to happen in every country at once«.

Watch a nasty banker put on the spot in this fun video on the Robin Hood Tax here:
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