TaxCorporate TaxArchbishop of Canterbury calls for Tobin Tax debate

Archbishop of Canterbury calls for Tobin Tax debate

Criticism of financial transaction tax rests on exaggerated projections, says Archbishop Rowan Williams

THE ARCHBISHOP of Canterbury has called for a debate on the implementation of a financial transaction tax.

In an article for the Financial Times, Rowan Williams said there was a mood that the City has regained its “business-as-usual” attitude following the financial crisis. The protest outside St Paul’s Cathedral was the “expression of a widespread and deep exasperation with the financial establishment”.

Williams said of the 0.5% levy on financial transactions that the “modest rate of taxation conceals the high levels of return that could be expected.”

The supporters of the tax, including George Soros, Bill Gates and others “cannot be written off as naive anti-capitalists,” Williams added.

“The objections made by some who claim it would mean a substantial drop in employment and in the economy generally seem to rest on exaggerated and sharply challenged projections and, more importantly, ignore the potential of such a tax to stabilise currency markets in a way to boost, rather than damage, the real economy,” he said.

The UK has already said it would not accept a financial transaction tax, also called a Tobin tax, unless it was introduced on a global basis. But the German finance minister this week said he will support the tax, despite UK objections.

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