Campaigners save FTT from bank lobbyists
Campaigners have successfully managed to prevent French efforts to water down the European Financial Transactions Tax (FTT).
Thanks to mass efforts, a weak proposal put forward by the French Government (under pressure from their banking sector) appears to have been dropped from negotiations of the 11 European countries currently in discussions to finalise FTT legislation:
o A public statement was signed by more than 1000 civil society organisations (including trade unions, health networks and green groups) from 11 European countries - representing more than 50 million European citizens
o A huge media storm was whipped up by our colleagues in Europe, particularly in France, with a double-page spread in the biggest national newspaper, Le Monde
o Social media has been buzzing with messages of support for a strong FTT.
Now, Austria, backed by Italy and any smaller countries, are pushing forward a proposal for a stronger, more comprehensive European Robin Hood Tax. However - there is still a danger that we could lose the battle: the financial sector are putting up a fierce fight, throwing weight against the FTT in order to protect their own interests and reduce the valuable revenue the tax could provide for people and planet.
European campaigners are now ramping up the pressure ahead of a key meeting of Finance Ministers on December 9th, urging them to implement a strong FTT and not to bow to the aggressive lobbying of the banks.
This matters for the UK, too - if we achieve a strong tax in Europe, there would be even more reason for our government to get on board. Over 60 councils have already passed motions calling for the Robin Hood Tax - in defiance of the UK Chancellor who seems intent on using taxpayers’ money to protect the interests of the square mile over the interests of the UK as a whole.
Further afield in Australia, nurses and midwives recently took the Robin Hood Tax campaign on tour (pictured), travelling more than 1,500kms to reach the G20 in Brisbane to highlight to world leaders the need for an FTT to fund universal healthcare and fight austerity. Watch their inspiring journey on video here!
Back to Europe: we’re now at crunch point. We have a chance to ensure that the currently under-taxed financial sector pays a greater and fairer share: we urgently need your help to achieve the strongest, broadest tax possible, with money going to the right places - to protect jobs and public services, to meet commitments to clean water, health and education in developing countries and to combat the challenges of climate change.
We need to deliver a strong message to European leaders. So far, almost 840,000 people have put their names to our petition - help us reach 1 million - sign now to show the world that the Robin Hood Tax is the most popular tax in history!