Progressive Euro MPs Win Crunch Vote For Robin Hood Tax

Euro MPs today called on the EU to promote a financial transaction tax at global level and to implement it across the EU as a first step. The tax would produce significant new sources of finance as an alternative to harsh cutbacks in public spending.

The call came in a resolution drafted by Greek Socialist Anni Podimata which MEPs in Strasbourg backed by a cross-party majority of 529 to 127 with 18 abstentions.

The introduction of an FTT is part of a package of measures on innovative financing.

Said Ms Podimata: “This is the second time that this Parliament has called for a financial transaction tax. It is now time for the European Commission to act.

“Citizens have been hit hard by the financial crisis and face growing unemployment. At the same time, the financial sector remains largely under-taxed and has this year enjoyed profits and bonuses at pre-crisis levels.

Said S&D spokesman on economic and monetary affairs, Udo Bullmann: “We need to restore the balance. It is time for financial gamblers to share the burden and repair the damage they caused in the first place.

“The tax should be implemented at global level and the EU should take the leadership.

“In these times of austerity, we desperately need new resources to support the recovery of the European economy and boost growth and job creation as well as our support for development aid.”

The resolution also calls for the launch of Eurobonds as a tool for common management of EU member states’ public debt. The text stresses the need for European project bonds to finance EU investment in the fight against climate change and urges comprehensive revision of the energy taxation directive to make C02 emissions and energy content one of the basic criteria for taxation of energy products.