George Osborne was filmed laying into the idea of a Tobin Tax on financial transactions at today’s Ecofin meeting in Brussels. As he says: if you want to tax bankers, tax them but don’t create a tax that will only be paid for by their customers. Here’s Osborne:
All this is well said (transcript here) and is, incidentally, a revealing glimpse into parts of euroworld that are rarely broadcast. Also, calling this a "Robin Hood Tax" is perverse: in fact it’s a Sheriff of Nottingham ploy that appears to target the rich while actually being paid by the poor.
It’s equally worth observing that Osborne’s position is broadly the same as that of the Obama White House who also oppose a Tobin Tax while favouring a tax on banks that’s more or less comparable to the bank levy slapped on the City by the Chancellor of the Exchequer.