Delay to European Robin Hood Tax deal condemned by Oxfam

Oxfam condemns today’s decision by EU Finance Ministers to delay talks on a European Financial Transaction tax (FTT) until December. Finance Ministers from ten European countries including France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, and Spain, were expected to discuss the tax at a meeting in Brussels on Monday (10 July), but it’s emerged that negotiations will be pushed back for the third time.

Alex Naulot, Oxfam policy advisor on the financial markets, said:

“This is a slap in the face to European citizens and a gift for wealthy bankers. Every day of delay deprives Europe’s citizens of an estimated €60 million in lost revenues. This is money that could be invested in boosting vital public services across Europe and in tackling poverty and climate change across the globe.”

More than 50 top European Financiers published a letter in support of the European FTT earlier this week. The letter argues the FTT will reduce financial instability and raise significant additional government revenue, and it dismisses arguments that the FTT will make it harder for European countries to entice finance firms away from London following Brexit. The industry insiders say firms’ make decisions on whether to relocate on many factors beyond a small transaction tax, especially given the fact that the UK already applies a tax on stock trades.

“Europe’s top financiers back the tax – they know the arguments against it don’t stack up,” said Naulot.  “There are no technical or economic issues standing in the way of agreement – it is simply a matter of political will, and European leaders are showing a disappointing lack of it at the moment.”   

Notes to editors: 

The FTT is a modest tax on financial transactions, such as the purchase and sale of stocks and derivatives. It is estimated that the European FTT could raise  €22 billion per year  – more than the European Union spends supporting agriculture in France, Germany and Italy combined. In 2015 EU agriculture spending was €9.03 billion in France, €5.47 billion in Italy, and €6.04 billion in Germany 

The letter from fifty top financiers in support of a European Financial Tax is available here.

 

Contact information: 

Florian Oel: Tel: +32-2-234 11 15, mobile +32-473-56 22 60, email florian.oel@oxfam.org or twitter: @florianoel

Anna Ratcliff: email anna.ratcliff@oxfam.org, mobile +44 7796993288 or twitter @ratcliff_anna