Watch: Ed Balls answers your questions

Every day this week, we’re showing you the answers that the Labour Leadership candidates gave to your questions.

Next up is Ed Balls, Shadow Education Secretary.

What do you think about his answers? What else would you ask him? Let us know by posting your comments.

Every day this week, we’ll be adding a video from each of the leadership candidates, so stay tuned.

Watch: David Miliband talks to LCID about his vision for international development

A couple of weeks ago, you told us what you would like to ask the Labour Leadership candidates. We have been to them and asked them those questions and now you can see their answers.

First up is Shadow Foreign Secretary David Miliband, answering questions on, among others, financial transaction taxes, climate change and ring-fencing budgets.

What do you think about his answers? What else would you ask him? Let us know by posting your comments.

Every day this week, we’ll be adding a video from each of the leadership candidates, so stay tuned.

Sign up to Robin Hood’s Saving Challenge

Rather than telling the Government how it can hack at public services to lower the deficit, why not take part in a real debate about how the economy could recover? The people over at the Robin Hood Tax are running the Saving Challenge to do just that.

A series of taxes on the banks in the UK could raise tens of billions each year to help recoup some of this lost money and help the poorest at home and abroad who have been hit hardest by the economic crisis.

They’ll be turning your responses into a daily blog and then reporting back to us all at the end of July.

LCID supports the Robin Hood Tax, and has since the campaign was launched. A small levy on financial transactions could raise such staggering amounts of money that it could save the lives of thousands.

Have a look at their website and sign up to the Saving Challenge.

The Tories should introduce the Robin Hood Tax if they truly want to help the poor

The emergency budget is to be on June 22 and David Cameron has already begun to try and soften the ground. The pain, he states, will be felt by everyone. This is worrying and could be avoided by the introduction of the Robin Hood Tax, says the ippr.

One of the ways of raising much needed funds is through taxation. Liberal Democrats campaigned on a platform to raise employee contributions to national insurance. Conservatives, on the other hand, favour raising VAT to as high as 20%, which would be regressive.

Taxing corporations is another means of raising funds, however, it has several drawbacks, including passing the cost on to its consumers, cutting labour costs and leaving the UK. Nor would its reach be felt meaningfully beyond our shores. Many feel that the financial sector should be taxed to a greater extent given that they have caused the recession.

The most effective way to tax the financial sector is through a Robin Hood tax.

Such a tax would help ease the effects of the recession in the UK and across the globe, as half would be dedicated to international development.

Who would be most affected by this tax? Clearly, it would be those who make frequent trades, namely investment banks and hedge funds in the developed world. Such a tax could recognise that the effects of capital flows are felt (both positively and negatively) across the globe, and most keenly in the developing world. Pension funds and insurance companies, would also be affected but, they tend to trade less frequently and thus would pay a smaller proportion.

Bob Neil MP revealed in the House of Commons June 10th that the poorest will face the largest burden of paying down the debt. This is in direct contrast to Cameron’s promises to protect the poor. A tax on financial transactions would raise approximately £25 billion; more than twice the amount that could be raised from increasing VAT to 20%. It is not just the less well off at home who would suffer from the suspected Tory plans, but millions overseas who will be deprived of financial support that they so desperately need.

By Margaret Dantas Araujo

“Tights, Camera, Action!”

If you love making films, like a good competition, and… well… fancy yourself in a nice pair of tights! – this is for you.

We know that plenty of LCID members will relate to the Robin Hood Tax as the ‘Tobin’ international tax on banks, and this is a lighter way of connecting with a key issue for the present UK government.

The Robin Hood Tax campaign is calling on budding filmmakers to showcase their talents in a new short film competition, which will be judged by the award-winning actress Sienna Miller and world-famous writer & director Richard Curtis. Judges are looking for 60-90 second films, which reflect the aims of the campaign and inspire others to sign up.

Find out more!

Curtis, puts it best when he says: “We are looking for original and creative films that sell the idea of the Robin Hood Tax in new and exciting ways. We want anyone who watches the winning films to turn to the person next to them and say – ‘I’m sure as hell supporting that!’”

For those that don’t know, the Robin Hood Tax is a tiny tax on banks that would generate billions to tackle poverty and climate change, both here and abroad.

Prizes include a master-class with Richard Curtis, being featured on YouTube’s home page and camera equipment is also up for grabs. There will be a separate category for under 18’s, judged by Harry Potter star Tom Felton, Blake Harrison – star of E4 comedy, The Inbetweeners and Joe Dempsie who is best known for his role as Chris Miles in Skins.

Robin Hood, Robin Hood, riding through….Hyde Park!

Speaker’s Corner is a famed place for freedom of speech, where the good, the bad and the ugly have all enjoyed the freedom to speak openly about their passions, causes and beliefs.

On the very sunny Saturday just gone, LCID went down to hear Robin Hood and a Banker battle it out on soapboxes – cheered and jeered by a gang of merry men and women, in a flash-mob as part of a national day of action for the Robin Hood Tax campaign.

LCID backs the campaign and calls for all parties to support it. Supporters are calling for a tiny tax of 0.05% on banking transactions, with the resulting funds spent on aid for poverty both at home and abroad and climate change adaptation funding for developing countries.

In the first Gordon Brown on the Road event we attended last week, the Prime Minister spoke of the responsibility the financial sector has in overcoming the economic crisis. The Robin Hood Tax offers part of that solution and can help lift millions out of unnecessary poverty.

Show your support for the Robin Hood tax campaign by taking action on the website.

By Serena O’Sullivan

Cameron MEP’s extraordinary rant against Robin Hood tax

Left Foot Forward reported on Friday this extraordinary rant against the Robin Hood Tax:

One of David Cameron’s MEPs has launched an extraordinary attack on the Robin Hood Tax,hailed as a tax on bankers that would give billions to tackle poverty and climate change, in Britain and abroad, raising hundreds of billions each year.

Tory MEP for South East England Nirj Deva, however, claimed the tax would:

“Give money to a whole bunch of people who will probably steal it.”

Watch it:

The hostility of the Tories’ spokesman on international development and vice chair of the European parliament’s development committee to the plans will be bound to cause worries for the Tory leader, keen to rid the Conservatives of their “nasty party” image.

His European representatives in particular are doing their best to re-inforce that picture, however, having opposed the Labour-backed proposals to establish a tax on financial transactions; the Parliament, though, supported the European Socialists & Democrats’ call for an international levy on financial transactions “as a fair contribution from the financial sector to global social justice”.

Mr Deva had desctibed the report as “silly” and “irrelevant”, adding:

“If you sell all the properties which are extra legal, the slum valued properties which are not part of the legal system in the developing countries you will achieve $7 trillion – there is a whole bunch of capital waiting in the developing countries which are outside the legal structures of those countries from the slums to those millions of businesses on the side of the roads you see which are not part of the formal economy.

“Secondly, if you ask how much money’s coming out of the developing countries every year, through into the financial systems of the world, it’s $800 billion. Why are we not working to keep that capital in those countries making those countries richer. No, what did we go and do just now, we voted for a Tobin tax to hammer already weakener financial institutions in the west and give money to a whole bunch of people who will probably steal it.