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Let's back the Robin Hood tax, says city councillor
A COUNCIL in Worcestershire is being called upon to back the so-called 'Robin Hood tax' - as a way of solving their financial problems.
Worcester City Council is taking a vote tonight on backing a new tax on the banks to generate billions of extra funding for the Government.
A 'financial transaction tax' would hit banks, hedge funds and the rest of the money sector with a new levy.
Councillor Neil Laurenson, from Worcester Green Party, says some of that cash could then be used to offer better funding to the city council.
Local authorities are being hammered by unpredecented reductions in central Government funding.
In Worcester alone the yearly grant is being slashed 16 per cent and cuts of around £4.1 million are being factored in by 2019.
Cllr Laurenson has produced a motion for tonight's full council meeting asking for councillors to back it.
It calls upon managing director Duncan Sharkey to write to the Government requesting new legislation be introduced for the tax.
It also says the Government should use some of the extra funds to "reverse the on-going shrinkage" in council funding.
It would need the backing of a majority of politicians before the letter can be sent.
Cllr Laurenson said: "The Robin Hood tax is a campaign which has been going on since 2010.
"Other councils have backed it, like Edinburgh so what I'm suggesting is far from radical.
"Obviously this needs to be done nationwide, the more councils which do this the better.
"But if we can support it then all the better."
The motion asks councillors to note "the suffering forced upon local residents" due to shrinking public spending, saying "there is an alternative" solution.
Critics of the Robin Hood tax say it will damage London's reputation as a financial powerhouse, in the City, and result in more large corporations relocating elsewhere.
The full council meeting gets underway from 7pm at the Guildhall.