Boris is doing Londoners out of £1.2 billion a year

Jenny Jones argues that by refusing to implement a Robin Hood tax, Boris Johnson is hurting Londoners to the tune of £1.2 billion every year

 

By Jenny Jones AM, leader of the Green Party on the London Assembly and Green Party Mayoral candidate for 2012

If Boris and Ken have shown us anything, it is that the mayor of London can be a powerful voice in national debates.

In May voters have a chance to elect somebody who will speak up in the debate over banks for a fairer economy based on small businesses and a smaller pay gap. Right now, we can all speak up together in favour of the Robin Hood tax.

Boris has been on the wrong side of almost every argument to do with banking.

He has lobbied against the Robin Hood tax, and wrote to the European Commission president, José Manuel Barroso last year to warn against the implementation of a tax which could help millions of people. He gave the tired excuse that it would force companies to relocate oversees, and that it would devastate London’s economy.

Except the figures he uses show the government’s misguided cuts have actually reduced our long term economic prospects by several times more than the tax. What’s more, do we really want to base our future economic strategy on a small number of overpaid people gambling on complex, risky financial inventions?

We can happily give up some of that trade and focus on creating jobs in the real economy, betting on the Silicon Roundabout technology companies and a well supported renewable manufacturing sector instead of casino banks and fantasy airports.

As more and more European countries back the tax, including the very cities that companies may move to, we find ourselves on the winning side of the argument. The British public back the tax by a margin of two-to-one.

Our research shows that we are missing out on £1.2 billion every year that Boris and the government block this 0.05 per cent tax on financial transactions.

This money could bring much needed relief to our ailing public sector. For example we have calculated that it could be used to reverse all local authority cuts and cut council tax.

Alternatively it could fund the construction of 32 new schools every year, or pay for an extra 23,230 police officers.

It could help to end the unemployment epidemic and finance almost a quarter of a million apprenticeships, or we could use it to provide 4,221 hybrid buses and clean up London’s air.

In short, this tiny tax is the solution to many of the issues which you will hear about in this election.

As mayor, I would campaign vigorously on behalf of a financial sector that serves the interests and needs of our residents and businesses. The Robin Hood tax is a simple measure that would help ensure our city’s richest institutions make a more equitable contribution towards the recovery without scratching the surface of their massive profits.

See also:

Robin Hood Tax gains momentum – on the continentTony Burke, January 3rd 2012

Osborne starts to panic about the chance of a Robin Hood TaxOwen Tudor, November 9th 2011

Osborne in public: “I am not against Tobin taxes”; in private: “He remains unconvinced”Alex Hern, November 9th 2011

On the Financial Transaction Tax, why is Osborne on the side of the one per cent?Shamik Das, November 2nd 2011

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

33 Responses to “Boris is doing Londoners out of £1.2 billion a year”

  1. keith ferguson

    Boris is doing Londoners out of £1.2 billion a year, writes @GreenJennyJones: //t.co/BuS5xeLV

  2. keith ferguson

    RT @leftfootfwd: Boris is doing Londoners out of £1.2 billion a year //t.co/TF7K7Pgm

  3. OccupyTaxes

    #29O Boris is doing Londoners out of £1.2 billion a year – Left Foot Forward: Left Foot ForwardBori… //t.co/1Iwh8xPQ #OccupyTaxes

  4. leftlinks

    Left Foot Forward – Boris is doing Londoners out of £1.2 billion a year //t.co/G2JaZpth

  5. Pulp Ark

    Boris is doing Londoners out of £1.2 billion a year //t.co/bqvMa3JL #Left_Foot_Forward #Sustainable_Economy #muslim #tcot #sioa

  6. Patron Press - #P2

    #UK : Boris is doing Londoners out of £1.2 billion a year //t.co/8rdKu0nR

  7. KAAL Group

    #UK : Boris is doing Londoners out of £1.2 billion a year //t.co/8rdKu0nR

  8. OccupyTaxes

    #29O Boris is doing Londoners out of £1.2 billion a year (Left Foot Forward): Jenny Jones argues t… //t.co/a5NYtSX4 #GlobalChange

  9. Anonymous

    1 pound every time you use an ATM.

    That’a a Tobin tax. That raises a lot of money.

    Plus its transparent as to whom is being robbed.

  10. Patrick

    Let’s examine some of the statements here.

    “A small number of overpaid people”. By what measure are they ‘overpaid’? They’re not overpaid by the levels in the worldwide financial industry. So you are presumably adopting some other kind of yardstick. What exactly? Some arbitary cutoff figure adopted by a socialist focus group? Or average earnings? Does that mean that anyone earning more than the national average is ‘overpaid’? Just because salaries are large does not make necessarily mean that the people receiving them are ‘overpaid’.

    “Gambling”. The nature of the financial sector involves risk. There can be no banking industry without risk. You wouldn’t be able to get a mortgage, take out a loan, buy insurance, open a bank account, etc. The fact you consider it gambing shows that you know nothing about how financial markets work.

    “Complex, risky financial inventions.” By whose measure are they are complex? Yours? Just because you don’t understand them doesn’t make them complex. And even if they were complex, that doesn’t make them risky. Many things in life are complex. That doesn’t make them inherently undesirable.

    “Casino banks” -a typically, emotive, melodramatic phrase from the Left coined by people who have never set foot in an investment bank, probably have never bought or sold any kind of financial instrument, don’t understand what drives markets, or how the financial services sector works, or how it creates inwards investment, or its GDP contribution, but instead like to think of ‘bankers’ as boring, greedy men in suits because it’s easier to buy a fashionable stereotype than to investigate the truth for yourself.

  11. Ed's Talking Balls

    Thank goodness you haven’t a hope in hell of being elected Mayor. You’re in favour of introducing, unilaterally, a tax which would inevitably be passed on to consumers anyway? Yeah… Pass.

  12. Pat Raven

    RT @leftfootfwd: Boris is doing Londoners out of £1.2 billion a year //t.co/Tivm6ATJ

  13. Knut Cayce

    RT @leftfootfwd: Boris is doing #Londoners out of £1.2 billion a year //t.co/2VEeyrIB

  14. Londoner

    Great article. Refreshing to see a politician who is willing to put the people before the banks and introduce a Robin Hood Tax. Go Jenny!

  15. Newsbot9

    Of course, after all rich people don’t need to use cash. How typical.

  16. Patrick

    How are you classifying ‘rich’? Earnings? Savings? Anyone with more money than you?

  17. Blarg1987

    They areall valid points however, I think people are not against controlled risk, but when an organisation takes a risk far greater then it can afford to, as alot of the investment banks did, then that is not really good practice from organisations who keep informing us they need high paid professionals who know what they are doing, yet have been a key part of society that has led to the financial crissi which we are all directley or indirectley paying for.

  18. London Green Party

    Boris is doing Londoners out of £1.2 billion a year, writes @GreenJennyJones: //t.co/BuS5xeLV

  19. Jon Slater

    "Boris doing Londoners out of £1.2bn-a-year" by opposing @robinhood //t.co/IW8EnihE

  20. Darren Johnson

    What could London do with £1.2bn from #RobinHood tax asks @greenjennyjones //t.co/6VDZAN9g #OccupyLondon #OccupyLSX

  21. Green London 2012

    What could London do with £1.2bn from #RobinHood tax asks @greenjennyjones //t.co/6VDZAN9g #OccupyLondon #OccupyLSX

  22. Robin Hood

    "Boris doing Londoners out of £1.2bn-a-year" by opposing @robinhood //t.co/IW8EnihE

  23. Alejandro Febrero

    "Boris doing Londoners out of £1.2bn-a-year" by opposing @robinhood //t.co/IW8EnihE

  24. ann morgan

    "Boris doing Londoners out of £1.2bn-a-year" by opposing @robinhood //t.co/IW8EnihE

  25. WestMonster

    RT @jonslater74: "Boris doing Londoners out of £1.2bn-a-year" by opposing @robinhood //t.co/7V57Dp5E

  26. Genevieve Willis

    "Boris doing Londoners out of £1.2bn-a-year" by opposing @robinhood //t.co/IW8EnihE

  27. OccupyUSA

    "Boris doing Londoners out of £1.2bn-a-year" by opposing @robinhood //t.co/IW8EnihE

  28. Anu

    "Boris doing Londoners out of £1.2bn-a-year" by opposing @robinhood //t.co/IW8EnihE

  29. Toni Segovia

    "Boris doing Londoners out of £1.2bn-a-year" by opposing @robinhood //t.co/IW8EnihE

  30. Joseph Burnett

    "Boris doing Londoners out of £1.2bn-a-year" by opposing @robinhood //t.co/IW8EnihE

  31. Benedikt Raets

    "Boris doing Londoners out of £1.2bn-a-year" by opposing @robinhood //t.co/IW8EnihE

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