On the Financial Transaction Tax, why is Osborne on the side of the one per cent?

Today Dr Rowan Williams came out in support of a Financial Transaction Tax - yet George Osborne still opposes the tax that would raise billions for the poor.

With each passing day, more and more big names come out in favour of the Financial Transaction Tax, a tiny tax on financial transactions which could generate billions to fight poverty. Today the Archbishop of Canterbury joined the ranks of the 99 per cent; tomorrow Bill Gates is expected to tell the G20 why it should be adopted…

Yet, despite the growing clamour, and despite the increasing anger at the obscene pay rises afforded the super-rich while the rest of the country is squeezed, one man, George Osborne, appears bent on sabotaging the FTT.

The man who once said “we’re all in it together” in the austerity drive (yes, really), was today exposed as being shoulder-to-shoulder with the one per cent, as secret letters he sent to bank bosses on Monday were revealed.

In the letters, City A.M. reports:

The chancellor appears to contradict his public stance that he is firmly in favour of a Tobin or financial transaction tax (FTT) if only there were support to impose it globally… Osborne assures them [the bankers] that “the necessary international consensus does not exist” to impose it.

Osborne adds:

“Beyond this, I agree there would need to be further discussions about whether any FTT model offers an efficient mechanism to raise revenue.”

As City A.M. say:

The private reassurance to bankers that he remains unconvinced about even a global Tobin tax using “any FTT model”, despite his public support for one, will relieve many in the City but could leave him vulnerable to charges of hypocrisy.

His remarks were seized upon by Labour, shadow Treasury minister Chris Leslie explaining:

“For all his warm words in public about backing an international financial transactions tax, we now know the chancellor is giving the banks nods and winks in private that he wouldn’t support one – even if it is agreed internationally.

“This revelation explains why George Osborne has failed to put this issue on the international agenda in the last 18 months and why he won’t be pushing for it at this week’s G20 summit.

“We support a financial transactions tax, but if it is to work and safeguard jobs in Britain it must be implemented with the widest possible international agreement including major financial centres like New York. That means showing real leadership on the world stage and in the G20 which this out of touch Government has conspicuously refused to do.”

Indeed.

As Osborne appears confused by the FTT model, we hope this short video will set him straight:

It really is that simple.

See also:

Miliband and Balls need to be more vocal in support of the Robin Hood TaxVaughan Gething AM, October 17th 2011

Osborne increasingly isolated on Financial Transactions TaxOwen Tudor, September 19th 2011

Robin Hood Tax would lead to calmer marketsSimon Chouffot, August 6th 2011

A thousand economists agree on something – the Robin Hood TaxDominic Browne, April 14th 2011

Socialists win double victory on financial transactions tax and short sellingBen Fox, March 8th 2011

Like this article? Sign up to Left Foot Forward's weekday email for the latest progressive news and comment - and support campaigning journalism by making a donation today. 

35 Responses to “On the Financial Transaction Tax, why is Osborne on the side of the one per cent?”

  1. Michael O'Shea

    RT @leftfootfwd: On the #FinancialTransactionTax, why is #Osborne on the side of the one per cent? http://t.co/xSlDazw6

  2. Sue Marsh

    RT @leftfootfwd: On the Financial Transaction Tax, why is Osborne on the side of the one per cent? http://t.co/POZHW4ki

  3. Michael Bater

    RT @leftfootfwd: On the Financial Transaction Tax, why is Osborne on the side of the one per cent? http://t.co/sHjcAH8K

  4. Janet Graham

    RT @leftfootfwd: On the Financial Transaction Tax, why is Osborne on the side of the one per cent? http://t.co/POZHW4ki

  5. Joseph Caslin

    RT"On the Financial Transaction Tax, why is Ed Balls on the side of the one per cent?" http://t.co/HboQzdWU Chancellor & shadow hv same view

  6. Violet Greaves

    RT @leftfootfwd: On the Financial Transaction Tax, why is Osborne on the side of the one per cent? http://t.co/cFKggG0F

  7. Rob Shaw

    "On the Financial Transaction Tax, why is Ed Balls on the side of the one per cent?" http://t.co/O8n3lEe3 Chancellor & shadow hv same view

  8. Steve Cohen

    On the Financial Transaction Tax, why is Osborne on the side of the one per cent? http://t.co/V1WmzjcF by @ShamikDas #FTT

  9. Fiona McMahon

    "On the Financial Transaction Tax, why is Ed Balls on the side of the one per cent?" http://t.co/O8n3lEe3 Chancellor & shadow hv same view

  10. CurateNews

    On the Financial Transaction Tax, why is Osborne on the side of the one per cent? http://t.co/V1WmzjcF by @ShamikDas #FTT

  11. Rob the crip

    He’s a Tory, god even the best comedians would tell you, He’s a Tory for god sake Tories do these things.

  12. BendyGirl

    RT @leftfootfwd: On the Financial Transaction Tax, why is Osborne on the side of the one per cent? http://t.co/POZHW4ki

  13. Troy Watts

    On the Financial Transaction Tax, why is Osborne on the side of the one per cent? http://t.co/V1WmzjcF by @ShamikDas #FTT

  14. Alex Braithwaite

    RT @leftfootfwd: On the Financial Transaction Tax, why is Osborne on the side of the one per cent? http://t.co/BxEWIklY

  15. Selohesra

    So that well known economist Archbishop Rowan is in favour of the Tobin tax and doen’t think it will harm the UK plc – even if we go ahead without it applying everywhere else in the world. Well thats certainly put my mind at ease.

  16. Noxi

    RT @leftfootfwd: On the Financial Transaction Tax, why is Osborne on the side of the one per cent? http://t.co/7HPpyJrb by @ShamikDas #FTT

  17. Emily Davis

    "On the Financial Transaction Tax, why is Ed Balls on the side of the one per cent?" http://t.co/O8n3lEe3 Chancellor & shadow hv same view

  18. Sean O'Hare

    …more big names come out in favour of the Financial Transaction Tax, a tiny tax on financial transactions which could generate billions to fight poverty.

    Who do you think would end up paying this tax? Would it come out of banker’s bonuses? I don’t think so! The tax will be passed on to the consumer in the form of higher bank charges. In other word we will all end up paying. As for being used to fight poverty; how likely is that to happen. No it would be pissed away on things government deem important, or rather what their masters in Brussels deem important. If people want to help fight poverty they can send a donation to their favourite charity, they don’t need government to steal it from them, pocket a fair percentage in overheads and shell out the rest to a cause we don’t approve of.

  19. Powerbase

    On the Financial Transaction Tax, why is Osborne on the side of the one per cent? | Left Foot Forward http://t.co/Azc4GJWI

  20. Spinwatch

    On the Financial Transaction Tax, why is Osborne on the side of the one per cent? | Left Foot Forward http://t.co/0ALAu6jG

  21. EX

    RT @Spinwatch: On the Financial Transaction Tax, why is Osborne on the side of the 1%? | Left Foot Forward http://t.co/s20O6ryi #occupylsx

  22. Jane Shaw

    RT @leftfootfwd: On the Financial Transaction Tax, why is Osborne on the side of the one per cent? http://t.co/0M3Sspyu

  23. The rotten borough of the City of London needs to be dragged into the 21st century | Left Foot Forward

    […] On the Financial Transaction Tax, why is Osborne on the side of the one per cent? – Shamik Das, November 2nd […]

  24. Earnest

    A tiny tax that raises a lot of money?

  25. Samuel Tarry

    On the Financial Transaction Tax, why is Osborne on the side of the one per cent? http://t.co/V1WmzjcF by @ShamikDas #FTT

  26. Claudine Letsae

    On the Financial Transaction Tax, why is Osborne on the side of the one per cent? http://t.co/V1WmzjcF by @ShamikDas #FTT

  27. Osborne this week: "I am not against Tobin taxes" Osborne last week: "He remains unconvinced" | Left Foot Forward

    […] his teeth. In private, he is far less supportive, as letters Osborne wrote to financial leaders last week […]

  28. Osborne starts to panic about the chance of a Robin Hood Tax | Left Foot Forward

    […] never been a particularly convincing line – last month the chancellor was reported to have given secret pledges to the banks a Robin Hood Tax would never happen – but his […]

  29. Tom May

    Well, it does for some anyway! : http://t.co/tBQUDSDh

  30. Howard Ricketts

    RT @leftfootfwd: On the Financial Transaction Tax, why is Osborne on the side of the one per cent? http://t.co/IJOvxZD2 #N30

  31. Cameron didn’t sign EU deal because it’s not in the interests of the one per cent | Left Foot Forward

    […] On the Financial Transaction Tax, why is Osborne on the side of the one per cent? – Shamik Das, November 2nd […]

  32. The billion-pound cost of badly-drafted green taxes | Left Foot Forward

    […] On the Financial Transaction Tax, why is Osborne on the side of the one per cent? – Shamik Das, November 2nd […]

  33. Boris is doing Londoners out of £1.2 billion a year | Left Foot Forward

    […] On the Financial Transaction Tax, why is Osborne on the side of the one per cent? – Shamik Das, November 2nd […]

  34. Report rebuts “disproportionate, inconsistent and disingenuous” attacks on FTT | Left Foot Forward

    […] On the Financial Transaction Tax, why is Osborne on the side of the one per cent? 2 Nov […]

Leave a Reply