Oxfam salutes European Parliament's vote of confidence for an ambitious Financial Transaction Tax

Oxfam welcomed today’s vote by European Parliamentarians in support of a strong European Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) covering all instruments (shares, bonds and derivatives), as put forward by the European Commission.

Reacting to the vote, Catherine Olier, Oxfam EU Policy Adviser, said:

“We’re delighted that MEPs have thrown their weight behind a wide-ranging Financial Transaction Tax. A broad-based tax offers a real opportunity to raise billions to help those at home and in poor countries who have been hit hard by the economic crisis and to combat climate change.” 

“The popular support demonstrated by this vote should stiffen the resolve of participating governments to ignore the increasingly desperate attacks of the financial lobby – a pampered sector which is finally being forced to face up to reality.

“Anything less than a broad-based FTT will allow many in the financial sector responsible for this crisis to avoid paying their fair share. An FTT that exempted derivatives, for example, would only raise €12.5 billion a year – about a third of the expected total.” 

The report by Anni Podimata MEP, adopted with an overwhelming cross-party majority, responds to the European Commission proposal to design an FTT to be implemented by 11 participating EU governments. These countries are now debating the scope of the future tax, which is expected to be put in place by early 2014.

The Robin Hood Tax coalition has produced an infographic showing how much money an FTT by the 11 participating EU countries could raise > between €4.42 billion (from taxing shares only) to €37 (from taxing shares, bonds and derivatives).

EU FTT graphic

These figures come from last year’s paper by Deutsches Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung (DIW), the biggest German institute for economic research. The numbers are based on 9 EU countries: Whilst Finland was included in the study (although the country has not joined the EU-11 group in the end), Estonia, Slovenia and Slovakia (which are part of the EU-11) were not counted in at that time.

Notes to Editors

  • The 11 EU countries who decided to put an FTT in place by 2014 are: Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Austria, Belgium, Estonia, Greece, Portugal, Slovakia and Slovenia.
  • In a recent joint editorial, the Ministers for Development from three countries participating in the FTT – Belgium’s Pascal Labille, France’s Pascal Canfin, and Germany’s Dirk Niebel – called for the revenues from the FTT to be allocated to the fight against poverty and climate change.
  • In an open letter to the 11 European countries implementing an FTT, 355 international organisations (including trade unions, faith groups, development and environmental NGOs - representing millions of global citizens) urged these leaders to remain strong in the face of the financial lobby and to agree a broad-based FTT covering shares, bonds and derivatives.
  • The Robin Hood Tax Campaign has responded to a recent report by Goldman Sachs with a two-page paper summarising the findings of Dr Stephan Schulmeister of the Austrian Institute of Economic Research, finding that this Goldman Sachs report employs two devices to severely distort the overall tax burden of the FTT.
Contact information: 

Angela Corbalan on + 32 (0) 473 56 22 60 or angela.corbalan@oxfaminternational.org

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Robin Hood Tax Campaign