Fighting for the FTT
The campaign for the Robin Hood Tax in Europe is facing a serious threat – and we need all hands on deck to help us win!
First, what of the progress so far? Well, the good news is that 10 European countries, including Germany, France, Italy and Spain, are currently in negotiations to introduce FTTs in stages - starting with ‘shares and some derivatives’ - with revenues beginning to flow by January 2016. A recent study by Copenhagen Economics revealed that Germany alone could potentially raise €17.5 billion a year from Financial Transaction Taxes.
The bad news is that the financial sector have stepped up their fight against the FTT, using all their lobbying might to influence politicians in Europe to weaken the tax or derail progress altogether.
We need to demonstrate to decision makers that the Robin Hood Tax is the most popular tax in history. Over 788,000 people have so far signed a petition to shout out to politicians that the financial sector has still not paid back for the damage it caused and that taxing it more to fund public services, global poverty and climate change is only just and right!
Civil society is already making noise. On September 21st, many thousands of people marched together in hundreds of locations, demanding that world leaders address the growing threat of climate change. The largest was in New York where over 300,000 marched. The Robin Hood contingent was out in force – from trade unions to green campaigners - donning Robin Hood hats to highlight the role an FTT could play in funding the response to climate change (pictured).
A key way to achieve this would be through the Green Climate Fund – set up under the UN in 2010 to channel the $100 billion that rich countries have promised to provide to developing nations every year from 2012. To date, $2.3 billion has been pledged from countries such as France and Sweden - but this is far from enough. A European FTT would provide further, much needed revenues to counter the devastating effects of a warming climate on developing countries whose carbon footprint did nothing to cause it.
The focus on financing for development will grow in 2015. As the Millennium Development Goals pave the way for the Sustainable Development Goals, governments and civil society will meet for the third UN conference on Financing for Development in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in July 2015, to put in place plans for future development finance. And next December, France will host a major conference on Climate Change (COP21) with a strong focus on financing. These are all opportunities for civil society to press governments for a significant percentage of FTT revenues to be allocated to international development and climate change, in the very year that FTT revenues begin to roll in.
But the banking lobby continues to threaten the FTT progress that is so badly needed.
We have a fantastic opportunity to move forward, and it’s crucial that we take advantage of it. We need to urgently persuade the 10 governments negotiating in Europe to secure strong FTT legislation and make sure that they don’t bow to the pressure of the financial sector. At the same time, we need to win as high a proportion of forthcoming revenues as possible from the FTT to fund development objectives.
Join the fight to make the FTT a reality. Add your voice to the 788,000 already calling for the Robin Hood Tax: sign, share, and tell your friends, family and colleagues. Let’s reach 1 million signatures and show European decision makers that the Robin Hood Tax is the most popular tax in history!