United Reformed Church backs call for ‘Robin Hood tax’

By agency reporter
February 10, 2010

The United Reformed Church has declared that it is in full support of the ‘Robin Hood Tax’ campaign launched today (Wednesday 10 February 2010) by a broad coalition of domestic charities, aid agencies, unions, faith organisations and green groups.

The campaign is calling on the leaders of the UK’s main political parties to support a global financial transaction tax on banks - of around 0.05 per cent - to help repair damage caused by the global economic crisis, to protect public services at home, fight poverty abroad and help foot the bill for climate change environmental measures.

Commenting on the moral imperative for such a tax, the Rev John Marsh, Moderator of the General Assembly of the United Reformed Church, said: “The human suffering caused by the global financial crisis has been immense and the impact on vulnerable households in the UK and abroad devastating. Whilst it cannot restore lost jobs and livelihoods, this global financial transaction tax will go a long way to restoring public trust in financial institutions by raising up to £250 billion a year to fund critical development programmes here and abroad.”

Mr Marsh concluded: “Implementation of the global financial transaction tax would also serve to shift the public discourse from blame and retribution to hope: a governmental commitment to the common good is desperately needed in these stark times.”

In November 2009 the United Reformed Church adopted a motion in support of the financial transaction levy (the forerunner of the proposed global financial transaction tax). The adopted motion highlighted the United Reformed Church’s concern over the impact of the economic recession on the poor and vulnerable; the possibility of cuts to social benefits and public services being advocated by political parties in the lead-up to the General Election, and the likely impact the enormous deficit in public finances will have on the UK’s commitments to international development and climate change adaptation and mitigation.

The United Reformed Church comprises 100,000 people in 1,600 congregations. It has brought together English Presbyterians, English, Welsh and Scottish Congregationalists and members of the Churches of Christ. Worldwide, more than 70 million Christians are members of the Reformed family of churches, the largest Protestant tradition. The name 'Reformed' is used because the churches emerged out of the reform movements of the sixteenth century.

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