The new European Parliament should support the Robin Hood Tax - not the money men

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This week’s European Parliament elections are a vital moment for the campaign for a financial transactions tax: what we in the UK call the Robin Hood Tax.

Earlier this month, the European Court of Justice threw out an attempt by the British Government to stop 11 EU member states implementing a multinational tax on speculation. Chancellor George Osborne wasn’t acting on behalf of the British people, but his banker pals in the City of London.

Then the finance ministers of the countries committed to the tax met to reaffirm that commitment, and to set out a concrete timetable for implementing the tax in stages, starting at the end of this year.

We are looking to the European Parliament that is elected this week to reaffirm its own support for a financial transactions tax, and make sure that the governments of Europe don’t go back on their promises.

Because those promises are important to the people of Europe – and as an example, to the rest of the world.

A Robin Hood Tax could shift the balance of forces between the finance sector and the rest of the economy, raising the costs of speculation and high frequency trading, and making investment in decent work and good jobs more likely.

It would also bring the finance sector into the scope of fair taxes, making sure that banks pay some of the costs of the financial crisis they caused.

It would provide governments with the resources they need to defend quality public services and tackle the challenges of poverty and climate change at home and abroad.

The Robin Hood Tax is backed by politicians across the political spectrum and by citizens all over Europe.

It would be the most popular tax in history, and could mark the beginning of the end for a Europe that serves the banks rather than the people.