Mark Drakeford AM with UNISON Cymru Wales regional secretary Stephanie Thomas
Welsh Labour leadership candidate Mark Drakeford AM, has called upon the UK Government to introduce a Robin Hood Tax to provide much-needed funds for vital community services.
The innovative tax on business financial transactions could deliver millions of pounds for cash-strapped Welsh councils. It could raise £5bn of additional revenue a year from a tiny tax of about 0.05% on transactions carried out by financial institutions – not ordinary individuals.
Public services union, UNISON and the Robin Hood Tax Campaign, together wrote to the three Welsh Labour leadership candidates urging them to endorse the campaign to introduce a Financial Transactions Tax, popularly known as a Robin Hood Tax. The trade union says:
- 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
Mark Drakeford AM said,
“I have always been a supporter of the Robin Hood Tax and I’m very happy to support UNISON’s drive encouraging politicians to sign up to the campaign. A Robin Hood Tax is so effective because it collects small amounts of money on millions of transactions, which all add up to a significant contribution overall from those who can best afford it, to be shared out to those who need help the most.”
Stephanie Thomas, UNISON Cymru Wales regional secretary said,
“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.
“Time is running out to save services and protect our communities. A Robin Hood Tax would provide potentially huge sums for local authorities. This is sensible economics for our times and the Tax is supported by the likes of Bill Gates and German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Well done to Mark Drakeford for signing up. UNISON calls on all Welsh politicians to do the same.”
Notes to editors:
The Robin Hood Tax is also known as the Financial Transactions Tax
Currently, there is a tax on the purchase of shares which delivers nearly £4bn 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.
UNISON has been urging councillors to endorse the Robin Hood Campaign. To date, thirteen Welsh local authorities have no policy on the Robin Hood Tax. Nine councils have signed up to the campaign for a Robin Hood Tax: Bridgend; Caerphilly; Cardiff; Ceredigion; Denbighshire; Neath Port Talbot; Newport; Swansea; Torfaen
Find out more about the Financial Transactions Tax from the Robin Hood Tax campaign
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:
5 £500m cost to replace all EU funding for rural and regional development schemes after Brexit:
Alastair Gittins, UNISON Press Officer on 07816 53 83 97