Now is the time to promote a global financial transaction tax

Progressive Euro MPs today called on EU heads of state and government to agree a common position on a financial transaction tax.

The Euro MPs argue that a tax rate of just 0.05 per cent would produce revenues of up to €250 billion in Europe, helping to avoid painful spending cuts and creating millions of jobs if invested in the economy. A proposal for such a tax was already endorsed by the European Parliament in March.

The economic and monetary affairs spokesman of the Socialists and Democrats in the parliament, Udo Bullmann of Germany, said: “Given the Commission’s narrow and reluctant assessment so far of Parliament’s call for a study of the feasibility of such a tax, and disappointing inaction during the recent G20 finance ministers’ meeting, it is now more urgent than ever that the EU Council come up with a common EU position on the tax, showing strong and clear political determination.

“Moving forward with the financial transaction tax means being serious about preventing highly speculative transactions and restoring proper balance to the global financial system. If Europe wants to convince EU citizens that we have learned the lessons of the global financial crisis, now is the time to take the lead and make everyone, especially speculators, pay their share.”

Said Greek socialist Anni Podimata, who will prepare a report on innovative financing: “Reluctance on the part of the US or other countries is not an argument we can hide behind any more. The European Council should give a clear signal to the markets and to the forthcoming G20 summit in Toronto that the EU is ready and if necessary will go ahead by itself.

“Taxing financial transactions will ensure that the financial system is more transparent and that it works properly, focused not on speculation but on real economic needs. At the same time, will become an innovative source of financing of future needs in relation not only to the EU 2020 strategy but also global development and global climate change targets.”

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