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David Hillman, from the Robin Hood Tax Campaign UK and Stamp Out Poverty Uk, shares his political update on the European situation of the Robin Hood Tax (from March 2017).
1) After major breakthrough with FTT agreement in October, frustration as progress stalls
i) October breakthrough
Thank you for the campaign support in the run up to the 10th of October ECOFIN meeting, tweeting the ten negotiating heads of states and Finance Ministers. Campaigners all over Europe worked really well together on the 'Seal the deal' campaign leading up to the Ecofin. Also ten Irish Economists signed the European letter supporting the Campaign.
250+ experts call on European finance ministers to seal the deal on the FTT
With negotiations for the world’s first regional financial transactions tax “99% done” (according to Austrian Finance Minister Hans-Joerg Schelling), more than 250 economists and academics are calling on the 10 finance ministers involved in the talks to finally seal the deal on Monday.
On September 15th the Robin Hood Tax campaign wrote an email to all parties and Independent TDs alerting them to one obvious first and easy step towards achieving their commitment to Tax Justice.
One TD, Thomas Pringle, kindly brought this request in an oral PQ to the Minister of Finance.
Support was also send from Joan Collins TD, Tommy Broughan TD and Maureen O Sullivan TD. We know we also have the support from Independent TD Mick Wallace, the Green Party and PBP. But we are awaiting responses from other parties.
As published in Irish Times and Irish Examiner:
The Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) is gaining momentum. It is a proposal for a small tax on the financial sector to raise revenue for public investment and reduce the harmful activity caused by short term speculators. Already 10 EU countries are supporting its introduction.
We know from the 2008 crash and subsequent recession the destruction that is caused by the irresponsibility of the financial sector and financial markets focused on excessive profit seeking.
On April 7th we wrote an email to all independent TDs asking them to support our call for an FTT. Following this, one independent TD, Finian McGrath, now Minister of State, addressed a Parlamentarian Question to the Minister of Finance and forwarded us the answer on May 4th. The Robin Hood Tax campaign then responded to this answer on June 8th.
An encouraging dialogue and we will keep at it!
Have a look at the whole dialogue here:
April 7th 2016, RHT Campaign to Finian McGrath:
As you know last December, ten leaders of major European economies (but unfortunately NOT Ireland) agreed on what would be included in the world’s first regional financial transactions tax (FTT).
You haven't heard from us in a while, but we have been quietly working away. While the new Government was being formed we have been contacting Parties and independent TDs repeatedly to alert them to the potential revenue of the Robin Hood Tax.
The financial crash of 2008 was not paid for by those whose speculation had created it. In fact, in terms of income cuts and tax changes, the poorest 10% of the population have paid most. This is even worse than it sounds. If you are already struggling to pay the bills and have no savings, a cut in income can push you into poverty and desperation.
TTIP, the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership is a free-investment, free-trade agreement currently being negotiated between the EU and the US. It is one of many such agreements worldwide. These agreements are negotiated in secret and we have only learnt about some of their provisions through leaked documents. More on TTIP here.