The Labour Party has pledged a sweeping crackdown on tax avoidance and to introduce a so-called ‘Robin Hood Tax’ to fund its ambitious programme for Britain’s public services. The crackdown would be the largest in British history.
Under the new rules, Labour plans to raise as much as £4.7 billion by modernising the stamp duty regime on share trading with a possible £26 billion to be raised over the course of the next Parliament.
Compare this with the current system of austerity where working people are using foodbanks in record numbers (in 2010 figures were 61,468, in 2017 its 1,109,309 and counting). The National Health Service has been cut to the bone, yet further cuts and even greater problems can be anticipated.
Welfare claimants have suffered endless cuts and a ‘reformed’ welfare system dispensing only to those able to fight for their basic entitlements. Not content with a welfare policy condemned by the UN for its grave, systematic violations of human rights, Theresa May still refuses to rule out cutting welfare even further. Pensions have been raided, the retirement age has been increased and so on.
But how would Labour fund their changes? After all, the principle objection to ambitious public spending is very often to ask how extra money would be raised. The answer, by financial standards, is relatively simple. Labour pledges to close an existing loophole commonly used by banks and hedge funds, a loophole that currently costs the Treasury an estimated £1 billion annually.