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Taxing the Banks - BBC Newsnight

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Published on Sep 7, 2010

The IMF is considering the possibility of imposing a financial transaction (or Robin Hood) tax on banks. Proceeds from this tax would then be used to fund climate change projects and to protect the poor against the effects of an ever deepening recession. The overall percentage would be as little as 0.05 %. Regardless of the fact that this is a paltry tax on an otherwise bloated financial industry, Conservative critics like Mark Field - our very own Sheriff of Nottingham - feels that the poor bankers must be allowed to keep every penny of their Christmas bonuses and that the public ire against banks is misplaced. He rejects any levy against the banking sector by claiming that talent will migrate elsewhere. Rachel Reeves, Labour MP, defends the idea of the tobin tax and argues that the banks should rightly pay a levy in light of their recent fraudulent actions. You will notice that Field speaks like a blathering windbag with nothing of substance to back up his claims. Reeves, by contrast, seems to be very much on form. Oh yes, and I should mention that the interview is conducted by the millionairess Ms Maitless (whose husband, Mark Gwynne, works for Merill Lynch); not that this effects the balance of the interview. Incidentally, it is predicted that George Osborne - perhaps the most radical conservative Chancellor in British history - intends to resist plans for a tax on banks.

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