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The FTT is going to happen
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.
And the result of that meeting was spectacular for us: The FTT is going to happen. The ten EU Finance Ministers announced that they have reached agreement on the ‘core engine’ of a European FTT. Officials have now been tasked with drawing up a legal text for the proposed tax, ready for final adoption at an Ecofin meeting in December.
There are still some details to work out but according to campaigners and those inside the political discussions only a major disaster will prevent the adoption of the FTT. The main outstanding issue appears to be the rates for the tax. Over the next couple of months, campaigners will be pushing for rates that are high enough to raise meaningful revenue and to discourage short-term speculation.
The ten countries going ahead are: Belgium, Germany, Greece, Spain, France, Italy, Austria, Portugal, Slovenia and Slovakia.
Our own Finance Minister Noonan remains determined to exclude us both politically and financially. After us asking for support, on 29th September Deputy Thomas Pringle TD posed an oral PQ to Michael Noonan asking him to back the European FTT. His reply was that 'the position is as I have stated and we are not contemplating a change at present”. The government believes that it would be better to have a global FTT than a regional one. The Minister is worried about ‘flight risk’ as traders move countries to avoid the tax.
At the same time the idea of a global FTT campaign is gaining ground: The German finance minister Wolfgang Schäuble has indicated that he intends to put the question of a FTT on the agenda of the next G20 summit, which Germany will be chairing in 2017. In the US there are indications that the democratic presidential nominee, Hilary Clinton, may be much more supportive of the idea of a FTT than previously understood.
In the next 2 months we are going to increase the pressure on the government asking them to to re-discuss the Irish position in the light of current developments internationally and on European level.
We will hope for your support and will keep you in the loop.