Irish economists supporting the FTT

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