In several of the posts in recent months we’ve considered the possible use of a Tobin tax as a means of reducing speculation in financial markets and possibly raising substantial amounts in tax revenue. See, for example: Tobin or not Tobin: the tax proposal that keeps reappearing and A Tobin tax – to be or not to be?. Although James Tobin’s original proposals referred to a tax on foreign exchange transactions, recent proposals have been to impose such a tax on a whole range of financial transactions.
Added impetus has been given to the move to adopt Tobin taxes by the publication of a video from an organisation known as the Robin Hood Tax Campaign. To quote the site “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.”
So would this version of a Tobin tax work? The following videos and articles examine the proposal.
Actor Nighy backs Robin Hood banking tax campaign BBC Breakfast News (10/2/10)
Robin Hood banking tax ‘would raise billions’ (includes article) BBC Breakfast News (10/2/10)
Robin Hood tax on banks ‘would raise billions’ BBC News, Richard Westcott (10/2/10)
Celebrities launch ‘Robin Hood’ tax campaign BBC News, Hugh Pym (10/2/10)
Richard Curtis and Bill Nighy team up in new film urging Tobin tax on bankers (includes article) Guardian, Nick Mathiason (9/2/10)
Robin Hood tax offers a way to deal with our pressing problems Guardian letters (10/2/10)
Call for ‘Robin Hood tax’ on banking transactions Independent, James Thompson (10/2/10)
Joseph Stiglitz calls for Tobin tax on all financial trading transactions Telegraph, Edmund Conway (5/10/09)
I’m happy to play my part in the great Robin Hood Tax Telegraph, Bill Nighy (9/2/10)
The world’s greatest bank job! Ethiopian Review, Ian Sullivan (10/2/10)
Robin Hood tax could shrink currency markets by 14% ShareCast (10/2/10)
Don’t leave Greece to face the speculators alone Guardian, Larry Elliott (9/2/10)
Global support for a tax on banks is growing, says Gordon Brown Guardian, Helen Pidd (11/2/10)
Global bank tax near, says Brown Financial TImes, George Parker and Lionel Barber (10/2/10)
Get behind Robin Hood Guardian, Austen Ivereigh (19/2/10)
- Explain how a ‘Robin Hood tax’ would work.
- How would such a tax differ from Tobin’s original proposals?
- What would determine its effectiveness in stabilising financial markets?
- Would it be effective in raising tax revenue?
- Compare this tax with other methods of stabilising financial markets.
- What considerations would need to be taken into account in setting the rate for a Tobin tax on financial transactions?