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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.
The FTT, at 0.1% on trading in bonds and shares and 0.01% on trading in derivatives would raise €320-€360 million for the Exchequer according to the Nevin Economic Research Institute (NERI).
This is a significant sum that could help redress some of the consequences of the financial crash and austerity in Ireland.
Ireland has a role to play in implementing the FTT as we are a global centre for collective investment funds. In 2015, the total value of investment funds being managed in Ireland was approaching €2 trillion ( €2,000bn). Some of this activity, such as high frequency financial trading, is economically and socially destructive. The FTT could deter such speculative trading and encourage more socially responsible investment and the development of a sustainable ‘ethical economy’. Given the small size of the tax, there is little evidence there would be significant relocation of activities from Dublin.
It appears there is some official reluctance at Ireland supporting the FTT unless the UK also does. However, we believe Ireland should take the lead on this, rather than deferring to London.
The FTT could contribute to protecting us against future economic storms, much of which are driven by speculative financial markets.
Dr Rory Hearne, Senior Policy Analyst, TASC
Paul Sweeney, Chair TASC Economist’s Network
Prof D Jacobson, Emeritus Prof of Economics, DCU
Prof G Hughes, Trinity Business School, TCD
Dr Erne, Sen Lecturer, UCD School of Business
Prof P Drudy, Emeritus Professor of Economics, TCD
Prof Seán Ó Riain, Maynooth University
Dr Colm O’Doherty, Lect I T, Tralee
Dr Daryl D’Art, UL & DCU
Rosheen Callender, Economist
Dr Tom McDonnell, Economist, NERI
Prof John Barry, QUB
Prof Peadar Kirby, UL & Maynooth
Nat O’Connor, Lecturer, Ulster University
Prof James Stewart, School of Business Studies, TCD
Brendan Bartley, Spatial Analyst, NIRSA, Maynooth
Patrick Kinsella, Economist
Dr David Begg, Director, TASC
Dr Seán Healy, Director, Social Justice Ireland