Growing coalition urges EU finance ministers to move on a Financial Transaction Tax
A broad coalition calling for an European-wide Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) staged an action outside the meeting of European Union Finance Ministers today (7 September), in Brussels. The group, made up of NGOs, political organizations and trade unions, called on EU Ministers to recognize the merits of an FTT, particularly as austerity measures begin to be felt throughout the EU.
The coalition was concerned about the European Commission ‘non-paper’ tabled for discussion by Tax Commissioner Algirdas Šemeta and urged Ministers to dismiss its negative assessment. Whereas the EC document questions the feasibility of an FTT without giving detailed reasons, a leaked paper by the International Monetary Fund and leading economists do state this sort of tax is possible.
The coalition staged an action to represent what is at stake, pitting greedy bankers against actors representing the developing world, workers in Europe and the environment. Some 200 billion Euros could be raised from an EU-wide transaction tax, according to the Austrian Institute of Economic Research. Campaigners believe that part of this money should support public services at home, fight overseas poverty and fight climate change.
Watch the Flickr slideshow: Robin Hood Tax Stunt-Brussels, 7 September 2010
Elise Ford, Head of Oxfam’s EU Office, said: “It’s brutally unjust that the poorest people on earth are made to pay the price for bankers’ greed through cuts in schools or life-saving medicines. A tax on financial transactions would make the banks foot the bill for the misery they have caused.”
Daniel Pentzlin, campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe, said: “It is time for a new tax system where we tax what we want to reduce: pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, unsustainable production as well as excessive speculation. The finance sector, making billions each year, must contribute its fair share to the costs of climate protection and the urgently needed transformation of our economies towards a low resource society.”
Poul Nyrup Rasmussen, President of the Party of European Socialists (PES), on behalf of Europeans for Financial Reform, said: “It is simply not feasible for conservative finance ministers to complain about the deficit and then to refuse an entirely feasible way of generating new revenue. The Financial Transaction Tax is urgently needed”.
Coalition representatives will be meeting in the afternoon of 7 September to coordinate and plan the next stages of the joint campaign.
Notes to Editors
- A financial transaction tax (FTT) – or “Robin Hood Tax” - would make a significant contribution to preventing cuts in public services, tackling climate change and reducing global poverty.
- Even at very low rates of 0.05% or less, this tax could raise hundreds of billions of dollars annually for domestic and international projects and would cost governments and ordinary citizens nothing.
- The stunt is coordinated by a broad coalition of environmental, social, health, faith and trade-based citizens’ organizations - including Oxfam, European Public Health Alliance (EPHA), Friends of the Earth Europe, SOLIDAR, 11.11.11, Europeans for Financial Reform, CIDSE, the European Trade Union Confederation (ETUC) and the Austrian Federal Chamber of Labor.
For further information:
Angela Corbalan, Oxfam, + 32 473 56 22 60, Angela.Corbalan@oxfaminternational.org
Abigail Goundry, SOLIDAR, +32 472 607 449, Abigail.Goundry@solidar.org
Brian Synnott, Europeans for Financial Reform (EFFR), +32 2548 9085, email@example.com
Frazer Goodwin, European Public Health Alliance, +32 2233 38 73, firstname.lastname@example.org
Graham Burgess, EFFR, +32 477 902 023 email@example.com
Daniele Melli, ETUC, +3222240431 firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Health & Education For All Blog
What the G8 forgot. @Jodie_Thorpe on what the #G8 should have done for farmers http://t.co/GiU0P5eaLs #tax #trade #transparency51 min 40 sec ago
RT @GEFOfficial: A different perspective of #Somalia, thanks for sharing @Oxfam http://t.co/yf0e11aU9U, our favorite photo is this: http://…1 hour 16 min ago
RT @OxfamEAfrica: Our thoughts are with our UN colleagues in Mogadishu today and everyone caught up in the attack http://t.co/0MA97Ij7gF1 hour 19 min ago
1 hour 59 min ago
If left unchecked #climate change will undermine #foodsecurity in world’s hungriest regions http://t.co/0dfFGKUb8v @WorldBank #climatereport2 hours 40 min ago
Tell us: how would you tackle something as big & complex as global #poverty? http://t.co/vp3o1FatOd #WorldWeWant5 hours 22 min ago
What's life in the sprawling #Zaatari refugee camp, Jordan, home now to +100,000 people? http://t.co/SP3UnYvlGJ @bbc5live #Syria6 hours 7 min ago
So what did @G8 leaders deliver for the 1 in 8 people going to bed hungry each night? Here's our reaction: http://t.co/Ki8ZNWtSuy18 hours 12 min ago
RT @DFID_UK: David Cameron announces additional £175m for #Syria crisis to provide immediate humanitarian assistance http://t.co/dfDvdX2IDb…19 hours 11 min ago
20 hours 14 min ago
Poor people will be left behind in the race for #tax reform unless the #G8 seriously ups its game http://t.co/eddj3Qfeq4 #taxhavens20 hours 39 min ago
#G8 has asked all the right questions but has been thin on answers http://t.co/ACRH7YyBpV #landgrabs #taxhavens #SyriaPeaceTalks21 hours 3 min ago
Just hrs before the #G8 ends. Lend your voice before its over: demand that leaders close #TaxHavens, #StopLandGrabs & bring peace to #Syria.21 hours 53 min ago
#G8 on land: 'transactions should be transparent, respecting the property rights of local communities.' http://t.co/naak6xQBto22 hours 4 min ago
22 hours 40 min ago