Darling slated over refusal to impose banks tax

24 March 2010 - 2:03pm
Press release


NEWS PEG: British chancellor Alistair Darling presents his last pre-election budget

FOR IMMEDIATE USE: Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Labour isolated in opposition to unilateral levy

The charity War on Want today denounced UK chancellor Alistair Darling for his failure to introduce a tax on banks' financial transactions in the government's last budget before the general election.

Darling came under fire for refusing to impose the tax – which could stave off cuts in public services and raise money for overseas development – without international agreement.

War on Want executive director John Hilary said: "Darling's refusal to introduce a financial transactions tax is a slap in the face for the British people who bailed out the banks.

"It is also a direct insult to the millions of people in developing countries who have been ignored by today's budget.

"Labour is now isolated as the only party which refuses to introduce a unilateral tax on bank transactions.

"This decision has failed working people in the UK and overseas. Darling needs to answer for his betrayal of the poor."

A unilateral currency transactions tax on sterling would raise over £3 billion a year to combat global poverty, according to research for War on Want and the United Nations University.

CONTACT: Paul Collins, War on Want media office (+44) (0)20 7549 0584 or (+44) (0)7983 550728


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