Stamp Out Poverty Campaign : Tobin Tax Update - Summer 2004


Tobin Tax legislation passed in Belgium

After an epic legislative journey the Tobin Tax finally succeeded in becoming law on 1st July 2004. Belgian MPs voted 67 for the legislation, 42 against, with 19 abstentions. This represents a landmark victory for the campaign and a significant step towards winning the argument for its implementation across Europe. The Belgian legislation provides a blueprint of how a currency taxation system can work, showing the proposal is now entirely feasible. This great achievement led directly to us being asked to write an article for the Guardian explaining to their readers why this progress is so important. Read it here

Belgian momentum moves to Westminster

Following hot on the heels of the success in Belgium, an Early Day Motion (EDM) has been tabled in the House of Commons by Harry Barnes MP. The EDM invites MPs to show their support for the Tobin Tax by signing the motion, and attracted a wave of signatures within hours. Urgent action – please contact your MP today and urge them to sign EDM 1560. Find your MP’s contact details at or call 020 7227 4300.

EDM 1560 – Belgian initiative for a currency transaction tax

That this House warmly welcomes the new legislation passed by the Belgian Parliament on 1st July for a currency transaction tax (CTT), which serves as a blueprint for the raising of billions in revenue to benefit the world’s poorest people and help meet the UN Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); notes that this new law surpasses previous CTT propositions because the tax rate in normal trading conditions is sufficiently low as not to adversely affect the market; acknowledges that this law is testament to the feasibility of the technical aspects of the CTT; further notes that the legislation includes the mechanism of a higher rate tax triggered in the event of a sharp change in the value of a currency to act as a circuit-breaker, to guard against financial shocks and seriously enhance economic stability for the protection of employment and business; further welcomes HM Treasury’s acknowledgement that new income streams are urgently required to pay for the MDGs; further recognises the Treasury’s efforts to achieve the International Finance Facility to help pay for the MDGs; and further notes that only by means of complementary income streams can a doubling of aid for the reduction and eradication of world poverty realistically be achieved, which is the leadership opportunity for the UK Presidency of both the G8 and the European Union in 2005.

Tobin Taxi rides at Glastonbury

Crowds at Glastonbury were treated to a very special ‘Tobin’ experience when the Tobin Taxi made its first ever journey at the UK’s premier music festival. With brightly costumed characters carrying a sound system and driving the bright yellow taxi they certainly made an impact stir singing and dancing the ‘Tobin’ message to a very receptive audience. To read more about it and see pictures, please go to

MEP Campaign

Thank you to everyone who lobbied their MEP candidates in the run-up to the recent European elections. Many MEP candidates signed the declaration of support and nine of these have made it to Brussels. Across Europe our fellow Tobin Tax campaigners repeated the same exercise. This means that as we move into the new parliamentary session we have established a core base of MEP support that we can build upon over the coming year.

India introduces taxes on the securities markets

A proposal similar to the Tobin Tax is likely to be introduced in India in the form of a Securities Transaction Tax (STT) of 0.15% on the financial markets. This new system looks set to replace the complicated financial tax regime that currently exists. The benefits of an STT would be to calm damaging short-term speculation without significantly affecting long-term investors. A Securities Transaction Tax would raise £440 million for the Indian government every year. If the bill is approved by parliament the tax could be in place as early as September 2004.