If the Japanese Government supports a Robin Hood Tax, it’s a lot more likely to happen
You might be forgiven for assuming that Gordon Brown had isolated himself last November when he argued for a financial transactions tax at the G20 Finance Ministers meeting. That is, after all, what many journalists reported and have trotted out since. In fact, he was joining the leaders of France and Germany. And now, Bloomberg and the Financial Times report that the Minister responsible for tax policy has indicated that the Japanese government may also be leaning in that direction.
That would make four out of the seven richest economies on the planet (the G7 whose Finance Ministers still meet separately, years after the G8 was born, now itself to be supplanted by the G20) supporting what the UK calls the Robin Hood Tax. Four out of seven. Er, that’s a majority isn’t it? Of course, the US administration is yet to be convinced, but we are getting closer to the tipping point.
For those who don’t like decisions being made by the richest countries in the world, the G7 does actually have traction on this issue, because most financial transactions do take place in those richest countries. Over 70% of the value of global transactions are in just three: Britain, Germany and the USA. And there isn’t actually a mechanism to introduce a global tax, so in reality what a global tax means is the co-ordinated introduction of taxes by the countries where the financial transactions take place.
The TUC believes, in any case, that currency and share transactions can be introduced unilaterally (indeed, we already have such a tax on share dealings in UK-based companies). So the more rich nations that agree with the idea, the more feasible a global deal is, and the easier it is to implement unilaterally.