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Comment - The economy

About 'rebalancing' by David Flint.

My last editorial drew attention to the parasitic nature of the financial sector and the ways in which it distorts our whole economy. The Green Party is not alone in recognising the problem - even the Coalition talks about the need for 'rebalancing'. Rebalancing means having more manufacturing - like Germany - with the jobs and training that go with it. Greens want them to be green jobs - sustainable and actively contributing to the avoidance of climate change - and that just isn't a priority for Cameron's posh boys club.

Rebalancing also means having less financial business, especially the risky casino banking. That's less trading in foreign exchange, futures, derivatives, derivatives of derivatives, and other even more obscure 'instruments' whose only virtue is that someone can make a profit from them. One way to achieve this is to impose a very small tax on financial transactions - a Tobin tax. Even a small tax would make casino banking much less attractive and is therefore opposed by the City and its tame politicians. They claim that it would damage the City and diminish our wealth.

Last week, however, the European Commission reported studies showing that a Tobin tax would increase GDP in the long-term. Although the numbers are tiny - just 0.5% of GDP over 40 years - they show that we need not choose between wealth and a healthy economy.

Score one for the Green cause!

First published in the EGP members newsletter, June 2012

Published and promoted by Bill Linton for Enfield Green Party, both at 39A Fox Lane, London N13 4AJ