An innovative tax on business financial transactions could deliver millions of pounds for cash-strapped Welsh councils, according to UNISON Cymru Wales. We are urging local authorities to join the campaign for a Robin Hood Tax, which could provide much-needed funds for vital community services.

Public services such as libraries, youth services, parks and leisure services and environmental and food hygiene services have been damaged by UK Conservative government austerity and are in danger of withering away completely unless urgent investment is found. The Robin Hood Tax, a small tax paid on financial trading, would provide enormous funds for Welsh public services at no financial cost to the overwhelming majority of the population.

  • Four months of a Robin Hood Tax could reverse all cuts to total Welsh government spending since austerity began2

 

  • Two weeks of a Robin Hood Tax could prevent the need for further cuts to Welsh Government spending on public services over the next few years3

 

  • Ten days of a Robin Hood Tax could return the services for each vulnerable older person in Wales to the level provided before austerity began4

 

  • Six weeks of a Robin Hood Tax could replace all funding currently provided by the EU for development in rural and deprived parts of Wales5

Dominic MacAskill, UNISON Cymru Wales head of local government said,

“Brutal UK Conservative government spending cuts over the last seven years have brought Welsh public services to crisis point. They are under threat of extinction as austerity continues.

“Time is running out to save services and protect our communities. A Robin Hood Tax would provide potentially huge sums for local authorities and should be something all councillors and members of the public can support. This is sensible economics for our times and the Tax is supported by the likes of Bill Gates and German Chancellor Angela Merkel.”

 

What can you do to help?

We want you to write to your Assembly Member and MP urging them to support an end to austerity; the introduction of a Robin Hood Tax and fair funding for Wales.

Download our Fair Funding for Wales model letter here.
Download our Robin Hood Tax briefing here.

 

Watch UNISON branch officers talking about why we need an end to austerity and a Robin Hood Tax

Watch head of local government Dominic MacAskill on our fair funding for Wales campaign

Visit the Robin Hood Tax campaign website

 

  • The Robin Hood Tax is also known as the Financial Transactions Tax
  • Currently, there is a tax on the purchase of shares which delivers £3bn to the UK exchequer each year. The Robin Hood Tax would close current loopholes on the Stamp Duty on shares and extend the tax to derivatives. This could raise £25 billion1 of additional revenue every five year parliament, potentially providing a new source of funding for local councils.
  • The Robin Hood Tax is endorsed by a thousand economists, Bill Gates, Angela Merkel, Desmond Tutu, Michael Moore, Bill Nighy, Sienna Miller and Emma Thompson. It is official policy of the UK Labour Party and the Democrat Party in the USA.
  • To date, fourteen Welsh local authorities have no policy on the Robin Hood Tax. Eight councils have signed up to the campaign for a Robin Hood Tax:  Bridgend; Caerphilly; Cardiff; Ceredigion; Denbighshire; Newport; Swansea; Torfaen

 

Notes on calculations

1 Intelligence Capital, Improving Resilience, Increasing Revenue: The Case for Modernising the UK’s

Stamp Duty on Shares (2017), via https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2908464

2 £1.7bn cuts between 2010/11 TME of £15.8bn (£18.6bn in 2016 prices) and 2017/18 TME of £16.9bn (2016 prices) (TME includes RDEL, CDEL and AME)

3 £175m cuts projected between 2017-19 to Welsh Government RDEL and CDEL spending (AME not

included) (2017 prices)

4 £130m to return per capita social care spending levels for over 65s to 2010 levels:

http://www.walespublicservices2025.org.uk/files/2017/03/Waleshealthandsocialcarefinal_amended_042 017.pdf

5 £500m cost to replace all EU funding for rural and regional development schemes after Brexit:

https://www.ifs.org.uk/uploads/publications/docs/IFS%20report%20R120.pdf

 

Contact

Alastair Gittins, UNISON Press Officer on 07816 538397

Latest

Mark Drakeford calls for Robin Hood Tax

Mark Drakeford AM wants the UK Government to introduce a Robin Hood Tax to provide much-needed funds for vital community services

Theresa May must deliver for struggling families

  UNISON Cymru Wales says the pressure is on Theresa May to show her government really is driven to support ‘just-about-managing families’, in the budget on Wednesday. The trade union has identified investment in public services and public service workers as priorities for government action this week. Public service workers have been subjected to seven […]

Fresh push for ‘real’ living wage across Wales

UNISON Cymru Wales has challenged Finance Secretary Mark Drakeford AM to make Wales a ‘real’ Living Wage nation where every public service worker earns at least £8.75 per hour. The trade union has today (Wednesday) written an open letter to the minister urging him to provide the extra funding to lift thousands of council workers […]

Basic pay fallen 20 per cent in local government

  Local government employers accept the wages they pay their staff are too low, according to the public services union, UNISON. The Joint Council for Wales, the body which brings together Welsh council employers and trades unions, has revealed seven years of pay freezes or below-inflation pay awards driven by the UK government have reduced […]

‘Budget fails to protect local services’, says UNISON

UNISON has today criticised the Welsh government’s budget for local authority spending as wholly inadequate. The trade union has warned thousands of jobs will be lost and local public services will be reduced or disappear completely because councils are under severe financial pressure. UNISON also blasted Welsh government’s failure to fund the implement of the […]