Miliband’s ‘tax bad businesses’ call: a Robin Hood Tax would help
Labour leader Ed Miliband’s speech to Party Conference on Tuesday included a passage which called for bad businesses to be taxed differently from good ones, and there has been some comment on whether HMRC would now be in the market for moral philosophers to help them identify, and tax punitively, the ethically compromised. Of course, that’s not what he meant. The way to tax bad business is to tax the bad things businesses do, and there’s a ready-made solution already on the stocks. It’s being proposed by the European Commission today, and it’s called the Robin Hood Tax (oh alright, the ‘Financial Transactions Tax’). As the FT’s John Plender argues (£) today, a Robin Hood Tax would rebalance the financial sector by making long-term investment – one of the things that Ed Miliband identified specifically as good for the economy – more rewarding than the high frequency, algorithm-driven computer trading that causes stock market flash crashes and adds to volatility.