Neil McCulloch, from the Institute of Development Studies at Sussex University, didn’t believe in the Robin Hood Tax, he says. Until he and Grazia Pacillo looked into it, and produced a report called The Tobin Tax: A Review of the Evidence. Tonight, he was speaking in Brussels about how a Robin Hood Tax would definitely work, would raise £7.6bn a year in the UK from a 0.005% tax on currenecy transactions, and would mostly fall either on the traders themselves or on their richest customers. His blog in the Guardian says the same. Quite a conversion, and all the more welcome because of his initial scepticism.
But of course currency transactions are just the start. Stamp Duty on about half the share sales in the UK already raises at least £3bn a year, and could raise twice that. Taxes on derivatives – futures and even more exotic financial products – would raise even more.