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Wyre Forest councillors would back tax on bankers
A TAX on Britain's financial sector, which could raise up to £20 billion a year, would be supported by Wyre Forest district councillors if introduced.
Members of the authority voted at a full council meeting last month to say they would back a financial transaction tax if the current or any future Government decided to implement it.
The motion, put forward by Independent Community and Health Concern councillor Cliff Brewer, was passed by 20 votes to 19, despite receiving no support from any of the ruling Conservative members.
The district council has no power to introduce such a tax but the push for it from the authority will be sent to constituency MP Mark Garnier, the Local Government Association and HM Treasury.
Mr Brewer said: "This tax would recognise the banks' responsibility for the financial crisis, which has required significant public expenditure reductions and should be adopted to prevent further cuts to local Government and services for local people."
Opposing the motion, Conservative councillor Nathan Desmond said the tax sounded simple and harmless but had unintended consequences and would harm the City of London.
"Ultimately all we will do is pass our financial trade to Hong Kong, Singapore and New York," he added. "It is all too simple to blame the banking sector in the financial crisis, yes they were one part of it but the motion ignores under Labour the deficit in this country rose exponentially."
Labour councillor Barry McFarland, who spoke in favour of the tax, said: "We are being asked to decide on the spirit of the motion. Do we agree such monies could be obtained from the financial sector and used in a better manner? Yes."
If introduced, the initiative would see a tax of about 0.05 per cent slapped on transactions like stocks, bonds, foreign currency and derivatives.
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