David Cameron backs Archbishop on top pay

 

David Cameron has backed the Archbishop of Canterbury's call for greater responsibility by high earners in the City, while playing down the idea of a "Robin Hood tax" on the banks.

The Prime Minister said Dr Rowan Williams spoke "for the whole country" when he condemned the excesses of those at the top of society.

However he told MPs that the Government would only support a tax on financial transactions if it was adopted around the world.

In an article for the Financial Times, Dr Williams aligned himself with the anti-capitalist protesters camped outside St Paul's Cathedral by listing the tax as one of the specific measures that might advance their aims.

He described the Occupy London Stock Exchange demonstration as an "expression of a widespread and deep exasperation with the financial establishment".

At Prime Minister's questions, Mr Cameron said: "I think the Archbishop of Canterbury speaks, frankly, for the whole country when he says that it is unacceptable in a time of difficulty when people at the top of our society are not showing signs of responsibility."

He acknowledged there was "widespread support" for the principles behind the financial transaction tax - dubbed the Robin Hood tax - but said that Britain would only back it if it was adopted worldwide.

He added: "We must be careful that we don't allow other countries, including some European countries, to use a campaign for this tax - which they know is unlikely to be adopted in the short-term - as an excuse for getting off their aid commitments."

Mr Cameron has been sent a letter urging him to back the Robin Hood Tax signed by 70 organisations ranging from Oxfam to the TUC, the Methodist Church and Barnardo's children's charity.

The signatories said a levy on financial transactions would be "the most popular tax in history".

An IpsosMori poll for the Robin Hood Tax campaign found that almost half (48%) of the 1,001 people questioned on October 28-30 supported a levy on financial transactions and less than a quarter (23%) opposed the idea.

Meanwhile, members of Chapter at St Paul's Cathedral again met delegates from Occupy London Stock Exchange.

Four members of Chapter attended the informal talks with six camp representatives from the outreach, health and safety, media, legal and multi-faith and belief liaison groups.

Ronan McNern, 36, a camp supporter who attended the meeting, said: "We are in a proper dialogue and working out how to work together."

Mr McNern said the main topics of discussion were health and safety and ensuring that upcoming events at the cathedral run smoothly.

St Paul's suspended legal action against the protest camp outside the cathedral yesterday.

And the City of London Corporation, which was due to hand a letter to the protesters warning them they had 48 hours to clear the site or face High Court action, has said it will continue its "pause" on legal action against the protesters.

Stuart Fraser, the corporation's policy chairman, said the main objective was to ensure the highway was clear.

"The church has changed its position with regards to a camp being on its land, which means that we have had to rethink as well," Mr Fraser said.

"So we have pressed the pause button so that discussions can take place with protesters and others on how we can resolve the problem we face as a local authority - namely camping on the public highway."

He said the protesters did not have the right to camp on a public highway indefinitely and the corporation had a legal obligation to maintain access to the highway.

"Let's hope talks can produce some early acceptable results," he said.

The campsite was set up on October 15 after activists organised on Facebook and gathered in the City to attempt an occupation of the London Stock Exchange in imitation of anti-capitalist protests on Wall Street.

When police cordoned off the entrances to the square where the Stock Exchange is located, protesters set up tents in front of the nearby cathedral instead.

PA

Suggested Topics
News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
News
news
Life and Style
Couples have been having sex less in 2014, according to a new survey
life
New Articles
i100... with this review
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Voices
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
Sport
footballTim Sherwood: This might be th match to wake up Manchester City
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
New Articles
i100
News
news
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
News
Blahnik says: 'I think I understand the English more than they do themselves'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Michelle Dockery as Lady Mary Crawley in Downton Abbey
TVInside Downton Abbey series 5
Life and Style
The term 'normcore' was given the oxygen of publicity by New York magazine during the autumn/winter shows in Paris in February
fashionWhen is a trend a non-trend? When it's Normcore, since you ask
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Research Manager - Quantitative/Qualitative

£32000 - £42000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam