At the end of October I was at a March against the Tory spending cuts which started from the RMT ( Rail and Maritime Union) HQ near Euston station. With Bob Crow being the leader of this Union he was there as the “host” speaker, together with Matt Wrack as the Union leader of the moment – with the Fire Brigade Union strikes in full swing.
It’s easy to be a Union leader, and an anti-Govenment one at that, to simply criticise the current policy with no accountability for identifying, or promoting an alternative…and my view of Bob Crow, as arch-enemy of any Tory, fitted that mould. After he had formally spoken at the rally, and made his way into the wings he was talking with some other people from the media, and I was fascinated by what he said. He fully accepted that we need to do something to address the deficit – absolutely no question – and certainly, anyone who thinks we can continue with a massive deficit is operating in a fantasy finance world that is not borne in reality. His suggestion, which is not new, is to levy a small percentage burden on all finance transacations.
My understanding is that this is not at a consumer level but at a corporate/merchant bank level; so the billions of pounds that are traded each day through the City of London would be subject to a small percentage tax on each transaction. This would generate £20billion + and would be practically transparent to the City. There would also be some morality with this in so far as the antics of the banking community tipped us into this rather dire situation. It is highly unlikely that the odd percentage point would make any difference to the behaviour of the City and the Markets in the same way that 10p on a packet of cigarettes or litre of petrol doesn’t really reduce consumption.
Given that this is practically invisible vs the draconian spending cuts which will affect the most needy very directly and painfully – why is this not being considered? Why is it not even being discussed?
Why is the only solution considered to be cutting services to the millions of people who are most vulnerable?
This should be on everyone’s agenda….and we should demand a debate.
Photos – Demo against Comprehensive Spending Review HERE
Photos – Trade Unions against spending cuts HERE