Friday, 11 February 2011

Day of action for Robin Hood Tax: College Green 16 Feb

Oxfam South West to hand over ‘final demand’ to a Bristol bank As banks reveal enormous profits and bonuses, charity joins global day of action to call for Robin Hood Tax.

Oxfam South West will hand over a ‘final demand’ at a Bristol bank on Wednesday (February 16), calling for a tax on the financial sector to help alleviate poverty at home and abroad.

As part of a global day of action, involving organizations such as Comic Relief, Christian Aid, Friends of the Earth and Unite, the charity’s supporters will be at the HSBC bank on College Green, calling for a Robin Hood Tax on financial transactions.

The action comes as bonuses for bankers are revealed. A fresh wave of public anger has been ignited by news that banks are predicted to scoop bonuses of £7bn in the UK while at the same time public spending cuts start to bite.

Meanwhile, Britain's biggest banks are poised to reveal more eye-watering profits, with city analysts predicting combined profits of around £24 billion from four banking giants - HSBC, Barclays, Lloyds and Standard Chartered.

A Robin Hood Tax – a 0.05% levy on each financial transaction made by the banks – would raise up to £20bn in the UK alone. About £7 billion could stop cuts to libraries, schools, higher education and other public services, while another £7 billion could pay for free healthcare for 226 million people in poor countries around the world.

Christopher Brown, from Oxfam South West, said the action was needed to remind banks of their responsibilities to use their huge profits for positive action to alleviate poverty at home and abroad – action called for by governments around the world.

“The expected profits made by the UK banking sector are more than enough to save essential public services – which are being cut left, right and centre in the UK – and bring hundreds of thousands of people around the world out of poverty.

“A Robin Hood Tax, which has been supported by the French president and current president of the G20 Nicolas Sarkozy, is a tax whose time has come. The banks got the world into the financial mess it is in – it is time they paid their fair share to rebuild our economy and save services we all need.”

Oxfam South West will join the global call for a Robin Hood Tax on Wednesday, February 16 between 12 and 1pm at the branch of HSBC at College Green. Supporters will hand over their final demand and ask passers-by to sign a petition in support of the campaign.

The media are invited to attend – Oxfam South West volunteers, dressed as Robin Hood, will be available for interview and photographs from 12.30pm.

ENDS

For press information contact:

Christopher Brown at Oxfam South West on 0117 916 6474 or 07887 632 658 or cbrown@oxfam.org.uk

Notes to editors:

For more information about the Robin Hood Tax, visit:

Similar events will be held in Cardiff, Hereford, Glasgow, Manchester and London, in the UK, as well as in 12 countries around the world, including France, Germany and Canada.

Oxfam works with others to overcome poverty and suffering

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