One of David Cameron’s MEPs has launched an extraordinary attack on the Robin Hood Tax, hailed as a tax on bankers that would give billions to tackle poverty and climate change, in Britain and abroad, raising hundreds of billions each year.
Tory MEP for South East England Nirj Deva, however, claimed the tax would:
“Give money to a whole bunch of people who will probably steal it.”
The hostility of the Tories’ spokesman on international development and vice chair of the European parliament’s development committee to the plans will be bound to cause worries for the Tory leader, keen to rid the Conservatives of their “nasty party” image.
His European representatives in particular are doing their best to re-inforce that picture, however, having opposed the Labour-backed proposals to establish a tax on financial transactions; the Parliament, though, supported the European Socialists & Democrats’ call for an international levy on financial transactions “as a fair contribution from the financial sector to global social justice”.
Mr Deva had desctibed the report as “silly” and “irrelevant”, adding:
“If you sell all the properties which are extra legal, the slum valued properties which are not part of the legal system in the developing countries you will achieve $7 trillion – there is a whole bunch of capital waiting in the developing countries which are outside the legal structures of those countries from the slums to those millions of businesses on the side of the roads you see which are not part of the formal economy.
“Secondly, if you ask how much money’s coming out of the developing countries every year, through into the financial systems of the world, it’s $800 billion. Why are we not working to keep that capital in those countries making those countries richer. No, what did we go and do just now, we voted for a Tobin tax to hammer already weakener financial institutions in the west and give money to a whole bunch of people who will probably steal it.“