Hartlepool leaders call for Robin Hood tax to save town from cuts

Christopher Akers-Belcher. Picture by FRANK REID. IRN
Christopher Akers-Belcher. Picture by FRANK REID. IRN

COUNCILLORS are calling on the Government to bring in a new Robin Hood tax to reverse swingeing cuts.

A group of six Hartlepool councillors put forward a motion for the authority to support a movement calling for greater taxes on the financial sector.

Supporters say the tax will generate £20bn which could be used to fight poverty and help ordinary families.

The motion to support the tax was put forward by independent and Putting Hartlepool First councillors Jonathan Brash, Pamela Hargreaves, Paul Thompson, Kelly Atkinson, Geoff Lilley, John Lauderdale and David Riddle. It was unanimously supported by councillors at a recent full meeting of the council.

It comes just after the council learned that its funding from central government will be £8.3million less for 2015/16 than the previous year.

Hartlepool has seen £30 million less funding since 2010/11 – putting huge pressure on services.

The motion read: “This council notes the suffering forced upon local residents as a result of this coalition government’s cuts programme and asserts that there is an alternative to its ideologically-driven attack on public services – namely the levy of a financial transaction tax on the speculative activities that have accelerated the recent enrichment of the few to the detriment of the many.

“The council therefore calls upon Government to enact the financial transaction (Robin Hood) tax and use the revenues from this measure to reverse ongoing shrinkage in central grants to our council and public services as a whole.”

The council will now write to Prime Minister David Cameron, Chancellor George Osborne and Hartlepool MP Iain Wright, pledging their support for the tax.

It would see a 0.05 per cent tax on transactions like stocks, bonds, and foreign currency.

Council leader, Christopher Akers-Belcher, who is also chairman of the finance and policy committee, said: “I do feel it has merit.”