"In 1816, the British parliament repealed the temporary income tax that William Pitt the Younger had introduced in 1789 to finance the Napoleonic war. The MPs hated the tax so much that they even agreed that all documents connected with it should be collected, cut into pieces and pulped.
When the income tax was reintroduced in Britain in 1842 by Robert Peel, everyone considered it a temporary measure to replenish the depleted exchequer. But despite generations of politicians after Peel promising to abolish it, the tax never went away.
It proved impossible to abandon a tax whose time had come". You can read the rest of yesterday's Guardian website article by Ha-Joon Chang and Duncan Green - entitled Robin Hood: A tax whose time has come - here (Hat tip to Paul Hunt for the link).
1,000 economists from 53 countries have signed a letter in advance of the G20 calling for a Robin Hood tax (aka Tobin Tax). Irish signatories include TASC economist (and PE blogger) Tom McDonnell, TASC Economists' Network chair (and ICTU economic adviser) Paul Sweeney, and EN members Terrence McDonough, David Jacobson and Marie Sherlock.