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UK: Tax Banks Now

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Next week Europe's leaders could agree to a new tax on speculators that would get them to help pay the bill for the crisis they caused. But shockingly the UK is blocking the deal, and now only a mass public outcry could force them to act.

The economic mess we are in was created by banks gambling on property, currencies and other assets, but so far we have been paying for it. Governments across Europe want to introduce a tiny tax that would stop financial speculation and provide billions for our social services and the most needy*. To date our government has opposed the tax, bullied by the banking lobby. But, cracks are beginning to show and if enough of us raise our voices now we could force the Chancellor to back down.

The government wants to return from next week's crisis summit with something positive. Let’s flood the chancellor of the exchequer with calls to agree to this no-brainer tax and strong measures against speculators. Call now using the number and talking points below -- the numbers of calls will be released to the media to build pressure on the government to do the right thing next week.

*This tax is popularly known as the Robin Hood Tax

Here are the numbers to call

Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne -- Call the Treasury's public correspondence line on: 020 7270 4558. If that doesn't work -- call the Chancellor's Parliament office: 0207 219 8214 . You can also try emailing: ministers@hm-treasury.gov.uk and george.osborne.mp@parliament.uk

Here are some suggestions on what to say

  1. Speculators need to be taxed: We’ve spent billions bailing out the banks, but still they continue to profit from reckless gambling and speculation. A tiny Financial Transactions Tax (FTT) on banking speculation would cut down on dangerous gambling and be the first step towards cleaning up our financial system.
  2. This is the fairest way to create billions for our economies: Three years ago, governments took trillions of dollars of public money to bail out the banks, promising it would save our economies. Now, the markets are in turmoil again, the banker bonuses have returned and the bail outs are back. We citizens are still shouldering the costs. The FTT would ensure that the banks, not us, would pay for the cost of their gambling.
  3. The FTT is best way to fulfil our contracts with the poor: Leaders are using the economic crisis as an excuse to break promises to provide critical funds to the world's most vulnerable communities to deal with famine, climate change and extreme poverty. The FTT is not a silver bullet, but it will create new revenue to invest back into our communities and take on some of the world's biggest challenges.
  4. This is good economic policy for Europe: It could lead the way to a global FTT and would create billions for public investment to help our economies recover.
Remember to be polite. After your call, share your experience with people across the country by leaving a comment on the right. If you can't get through at first, keep trying -- it means this is working...we're jamming their lines! Normal government office hours are from 9am - 5pm so please call during that time.
Posted: 12 October 2011

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