Wednesday, February 24

The Robin Hood Tax is a crock of brown organic matter

Look at the website.  See the main statement:

This tax on banks – not you or I - has the power to raise hundreds of billions every year. It could give a vital boost to the NHS, our schools, and the fight against child poverty in the UK – as well as tackling  poverty and climate change around the world.

Let's unpack this, shall we? And in the interests of disclosure, I am a banker and I am talking about this in my personal capacity, nothing to do with my current or past employers.

This tax on banks, not you and I. Banks obviously live on another planet. So that taxes on banks have no impact on you and I. Here’s the first example that the authors don't know their head from their toes. Banks are intermediaries between you and I, who place deposits and it is you and I, who take loans to purchase a house or buy a pension. When you place a tax on the intermediary, you are reducing the interest rate that I get paid as a saver and increase the interest rate that I have to pay to get a house. See the economic illiteracy of not understanding how basic financial and economics work?

Secondly, why are they claiming to have big power to raise hundreds of billions every year? I mean, that is a silly statement, Why not raise trillions by imposing 100% tax on all earnings? You will raise even more. What’s the point of this silly statement?

Thirdly, give a vital boost to the National Health Service. Very good. Why? What happened to the taxes that you already levy on us? Is that not enough? Obviously it is not enough. So why don't you boost that tax? Oh!!!!!, let me see if I understand. You do not like to boost income tax, because somebody might get pissed off enough to fly the plane into the tax building or throw out the blood sucking people out of government. There is a word for this, Stealth Tax.

Fourthly, haven't you realised that the UK public sector is already showing a debt of 56% of the GDP and could reach 93% in 4 years? Instead of taxing more, shouldn't you be thinking about reducing spending? How about the fact that more than 2/3rds of the 1.2 million extra jobs created in the UK cities were in public administration, education and health. Don't you think this is a tad top heavy? And then you want to impose a tax on savers, job creators and intermediaries to increase the number of jobs even more? Same thing applies to school funding. Oh, fight against child poverty!

Then they obviously throw in poverty and climate change as well. I think they missed out making apple pies for pensioners, helping lollipop ladies with better shiny vests and feeding nuts to squirrels!!!

And this is a highly regressive tax, which will proportionally impact the poor even more than the rich. For example, if this applies to all financial transactions, then a poor man will have to pay 1 pound in tax (for example) for every 10 quid he withdraws, versus say a 100 quid for a richer man who withdraws 1000 quid. When you are faced with the choice of eating beans on toast, then that 1 pound makes more of an impact than the 100 quid when you are eating caviar and drinking champagne. So this tax is actually going to exacerbate poverty.

Finally, if you say that taxes help improve behaviour of the banks, then why don't we start imposing taxes on government departments who do not perform? How about imposing taxes on train companies whose trains are late? How about charities who spend more than say 5% on administration and marketing? Talking about charities. Here is a list of charities who have signed up to this interesting idea. Charities are supposed to rely on the philanthropy of ordinary people. They rely on the good nature of people who contribute towards society. But this bunch of charities are asking for forcible contributions. In other words, they are demanding, under force of law, for everybody to contribute to them. This is theft!

Robin Hood, after all, was a thief and a robber. And for all his noble efforts, his thefts effectively lead to the authorities actually increasing the amount of taxes levied on the common man. In this particular case, if you increase the level of taxes, then you are in effect increasing the public sector and then you will need more taxes to support them in the end, leading to the public sector taxing itself to spend on itself, a snake eating its own tail.

Also look at the list, quite a lot of unions are in there, and most of them are public sector unions. Hmmm, very good indeed, I like the way you want me as a taxpayer to give you more money so that you can have more employees. And the churches got into the act as well, thank you for robbing us! Robin Hood also robbed the public authorities and churches who were grasping, thieving, robbing clerics. It’s nice to see that they haven't changed a wee bit. So I like how confused they are by saying that they are like Robin Hood, when they are exactly like the enemies of Robin Hood. How about charities also paying tax then on their earnings? Oh? What you get are gifts, unlike us money grabbing taxpayers who get our money after squeezing just whom? We earn our money and you are asking the government to tax us and then you will come to us again for more money. Money grubbing and theft combined with chutzpah and hypocrisy.

Then they say this is only going to be applied to speculative banking transactions. Just how they will define speculative is unclear. Will this involve people who take out mortgages for buy to let? Or how about me taking out money from my bank account to buy shares? How about taking out money from my bank account to speculate on horses? No? Yes? What?

This really bugged me. I dont mind paying taxes because we get services in return. But to go about actively proposing taxes without making the case for it reminds me of the Boston Tea Party. And when people think that they are being unfairly taxed, they start protesting or committing suicide bombing terrorism. So here we have a campaign, they dont know what it is for, they dont know what previous tax amounts were used for, they dont know how it will be applied, they dont know what the implications will be, they dont know who will get charged, but everybody is having a big song and dance about it.

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