Robin Hood tax needed

First published in Letters

IT is shocking that thousands of local families are struggling to make ends meet as the recession continues to bite.

Many ordinary people are finding it increasingly hard to cope in the face of unemployment, pay freezes and staggering increases to utility bills and other basic living costs.

Save The Children, a charity set up to tackle problems in developing countries has begun to focus some of its attention on problems in the UK.

The charity found that in Bolton, 8,000 children, or 17 per cent of the town’s children, were living in “severe poverty” defined as living in a household with a combined income of £11,000 or less.

Council figures published earlier this year showed that child poverty is much higher in areas such as Breightmet , Halliwell and Farnworth.

In Bolton we are slowly beginning to see the impact of £135 million in cuts to council jobs and services. These cuts will have a direct impact on many local families but will also have a wider impact on the town’s economy. Young people leave school with fewer opportunities and there will be less money spent in local shops or with local businesses.

Whenever there is any form of economic uncertainty it always people at the bottom who suffer the most. We are beginning to see the impact of the Government’s welfare reform, with 100,000 disabled people wrongly taken off the disability benefits that they need.

What we are not seeing is any serious effort to close tax loopholes for the super-rich and big companies.

Research carried by members of the PCS trade union within Inland Revenue services found that between £35 billion and £70 billion could be raised through tackling “off-shoring” and other tax avoidance schemes.

It is estimated that a further £23 billion could be raised annually through introduction of a major financial transactions or “Robin Hood Tax” on financial institutions.

Andrea Egan Breightmet Drive Bolton

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