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Controversy as council decides to lobby over Robin Hood tax
THE managing director of Worcester City Council is to write to the Government calling upon a "Robin Hood tax" to hit the banks.
Councillors have backed a controversial motion asking for financial institutions to be slapped with a new tax in order to raise funds for local authorities.
The so-called financial transaction tax, an internet based campaign launched in 2010, calls upon Governments to hit the money industry with a fresh levy to re-balance public spending.
The motion, by Worcester Green Party, called upon Mr Sharkey to ask for it to start in the UK in order to offer councils better funding.
It was voted through after Labour teamed up with Green Councillor Neil Laurenson, despite angry opposition from the Conservatives, which said it would be "terrible" for the economy.
Cllr Laurenson said: "The Robin Hood tax is a tiny tax of about 0.05 per cent on transactions like stocks, bonds, foreign currency and derivatives, which could raise £250 billion a year globally.
"It would raise up to £20 billion a year in the UK.
"It would see the financial sector help clear up the mess it caused, rather than ordinary people paying with their jobs, frozen or lower wages and declining public services.
"Local government has felt the cuts more than most and should be at the forefront of the fight back against these centrally imposed measures."
But it led to retorts from the Tories, which said the tax could endanger jobs rather than create them.
Councillor Robert Rowden said: "I'm amazed at this resolution, it's most peculiar.
"I know sections of the European community are very keen on this but such a tax would be a drain on the City of London, it would hit our economy really hard.
"This is not good, it's really bad - anti-prosperity, anti-business and anti-jobs."
Councillor Marc Bayliss, Conservative group deputy leader, said research showed how it could end "up to a million jobs".
But Councillor Richard Udall, from Labour, said it was "about fairness, something probably lost on the Conservative benches".
During the vote the Liberal Democrats abstained, with Councillor Ken Carpenter saying although he wanted better funding for councils, it was the wrong way to ask for it.
The Tories voted against it, but support from Labour and Cllr Laurenson saw the motion get the nod.
In Worcester the yearly city council Government grant has been slashed 15 per cent and cuts of around £4.1 million are being factored in by 2019.