The Robin Hood Tax Sweeps Europe
I know to many of you it may have felt like the Financial Transactions Tax (FTT) was never going to happen. However, today, I am delighted to inform you that for 10 European countries the end of the road is well and truly in sight.
Last week, the Finance Ministers of Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Austria, Portugal, Greece, Slovakia and Slovenia finally agreed the range of financial assets that will be taxed and how the revenue will be captured.
As we approached this decision point, 3 countries - Belgium, Slovakia and Slovenia - were blocking progress, however a combination of high level advocacy and grassroots pressure, thankfully worked to shift their positions.
A leading official close to the negotiations described the importance of the step in the following terms: “This means you win the game, now it is a question of by how much.”
In the world of campaigning, we over-use the word breakthrough but this really is a significant breakthrough.
The Finance Ministers went further seizing the opportunity to instruct officials to complete all outstanding items by December so that the FTT legislation can be finally signed off. It will then be passed into law by the participating states in 2017 with revenue expected from 2018. Current estimates suggest that between the 10 countries this will be between €22-25 billion a year.
Our work for the European FTT is not yet over. The items to be agreed over the coming weeks include winning strong rates of tax, ensuring no loopholes and not least intensifying our activities on where revenues will be spent for the benefit of people and planet. However, it seems clear that there is strong political will to get the job done, which we need to work with to ensure the best possible final deal in December.
Please keep up your support for our on-going work, I just wanted to share with you this really good news!