Many Liberals and others on the progressive wing of politics have been interested in a transaction tax for financial services. Earlier this week I posted a link to a third world campaign Stamp Out Poverty advocating the tax and a variation of the proposal has been in the Lib Dem manifesto. Today a letter has appeared in Guardian from the Social Liberal Forum and Compass
.................Everyone who cares about Britain's future at the heart of Europe needs to do two things. First, we must be committed to be part of the European debate, no matter how difficult that currently feels. We have to be part of the process to push for a more social, democratic and interventionist Europe. We cannot opt out of Europe – we are Europe.
Second, while we recognise the important role of the City in the British economy, we must not go on behaving as if the 2008 crash never happened. The City needs to be effectively regulated not just for the rest of the economy and society but to save it from itself. In September, Ed Miliband committed Labour to supporting a financial transaction tax introduced at a European level if there was no global agreement at first – matching the Liberal Democrat manifesto commitment to it. This was the right thing to do economically and politically. Europe must take the lead in ensuring that damaging speculation is curtailed and therefore a better balance struck between the manufacturing sector across Britain and the interests of a few in the City of London.
All who share the vision of a more equal, democratic, dynamic and sustainable Europe should work together to ensure Britain plays its full part with its neighbours in creating that vision and does not retreat to the sceptical margins.
I see that my old politics Professor Stephen Hasler has signed the letter