Campaigners for the Robin Hood Tax are stepping up efforts to persuade the Prime Minister David Cameron to raise up to £20 billion from the UK's financial services industry.
Fifty organisations - charities, unions, faith-based groups and campaigns - have written an open letter to the Prime Minister ahead of the Anglo-French Summit, which begins today (2 November 2010).
The signatories, who include Ekklesia, alongside a range of other church organisations (CAFOD, Christian Aid, Christian Socialist Movement, Ecumenical Council for Corporate Responsibility, Faith2Share, General Assembly of Unitarian and Free Christian Churches, Housing Justice, National Catholic Justice and Peace Network, Salvation Army, SPEAK Network, Tearfund, the United Reformed Church, Y Care International, YWCA and Zacchaeus 2000 Trust) are using the meeting between Mr Cameron and his French counterpart Nicolas Sarkozy to urge them both to do more to introduce a micro-tax which could offset cuts, support economic development, and protect the poor from the global crunch.
The coalition government is planning to raise £2.5 billion annually through a levy on banks' balance sheets, but campaigners say that this amount can and should be increased substantially.
In their open letter to Mr Cameron, the 50 chief executives of charities and unions who back the Robin Hood Tax Campaign tell him: "There is a genuine sense of unfairness felt by our many supporters and the public at large. They see tax rises for them, together with significant and dramatic cuts to services. At the same time, the banking sector is emerging relatively unscathed and is set to make extensive profits and bonus payments in the coming months. We urge you to work closely with France on implementing a Robin Hood Tax in 2011, a move that would be hugely popular and supported by millions across the UK and the world."
The call for a new tax comes as the UK banks update the City on their trading for the third quarter of the year, reports The Guardian newspaper.
Lloyds Banking Group, more than 40 per cent owned by the taxpayer, is expected to show tomorrow that it is on course to return to profit for the first time since its rescue takeover of HBOS in September 2008 left the enlarged bank saddled with bad debts. RBS, 84 per cent taxpayer-owned, reports on Friday.
Among RBS's new recruits is John McIntyre, who took legal action against his former employer, Dresdner Kleinwort, Benson to secure a bonus of nearly £2 million.
"We urge you to work closely with France on implementing a Robin Hood Tax in 2011, a move that would be hugely popular and supported by millions across the UK and the world," say the fifty CEOs.
Read the full letter here: 'Appeal for an EU-wide finance tax' - http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/13456