Plaid Cymru have attacked the Conservatives and Labour for failing to support the introduction of a Robin Hood Tax on financial transactions.
Their comments came ahead of a European Parliament debate on the subject today (23 May) and tonight's emergency European Council Summit.
Plaid said that both Labour and the Tories were defending the wealthy "one per cent".
The issue has long been a passion for Plaid's Treasury spokesperson, Jonathan Edwards, who made his maiden speech on the taxing of financial transactions when he first entered Parliament. Plaid has supported such a tax since 2001.
The Robin Hood Tax would be a tax on financial transactions – probably only a fraction of one per cent. Supporters say it would raise billions to tackle poverty and climate change.
Plaid today described it as “an idea whose time has come”.
“The Con-Dem Government have cut taxes for the mega-rich and for major corporations", said Edwards. He urged them to “accept the inevitable and positive effects of taxing financial transactions”.
He also took a swipe at Labour, saying they “talk tough about the bankers but consistently fail to back meaningful measures which would change their behaviour and help good causes at the same time”.
He blamed “the irresponsible actions of some in the financial sector” for causing the continuing financial crises.
“The financial industry must therefore make a fair contribution to improving the economy and the wider world, improving people’s lives and mitigating the effects of climate change,” argued Edwards. “Any money raised through this must be spent with common social good in mind – investing in long-term infrastructure projects which will benefit the environment and help to tackle poverty.”
He insisted, “The Tory-Labour tag team are still defending the one per cent economic elites of the City of London rather than the 99 per cent who are the ordinary people of Wales and elsewhere.”
Plaid Cymru are a socialist party working for an independent Wales within the European Union.