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Oxfam calls for the European FTT to be a Robin Hood tax

Posted by Jon Slater Head of News

22nd Jan 2013

Reacting to the vote of the European Finance Ministers in favour of the 'enhanced cooperation procedure' for a financial transaction tax in eleven European countries, Nicolas Mombrial, Oxfam's EU policy adviser, said: 

"This historic vote sends a clear message Europe's biggest economies are ready to make the financial sector pay to clear up the mess it helped to cause.   It is an example the rest of Europe and the world should follow. 

 "By tackling the worst excesses of casino capitalism, the FTT can stem the tide of growing inequality and  make the financial system work for the whole of humanity rather that a global elite. 

"But it will only be a Robin Hood Tax if a big chunk of the estimated €37 billion annual revenue is used to help poor people at home and abroad who have been hit hardest by the economic crisis and climate change 

Please contact Jon Slater +44 (0)1865 472249/+44 (0)7876 476403 or Gaëlle Bausson on +32 (0)2 234 11 15 / +32 (0) 473 562 260 

Note to editors:

·        11 countries are going ahead with an European FTT (Austria, Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain). 

·        Based on the initial European Commission proposal, the German Institute for Economic Research (DIW) estimates that a financial transactions tax implemented in 11 countries could raise €37bn.   

What a difference can an FTT make: 

·        That is €101 million a day, €4.2m an hour; €70,000 a minute and €1,173 a second.

·        If half of the FTT revenue goes to development, it could help about 550 million people in the poorest countries to access free healthcare. 

·        Just a third of the revenues of the EU 11 FTT could fill the funding gap in the area of basic education so all children in the poorest countries could attend school  (UNESCO Report UNESCO (2010) 

·        Allocating a quarter of this sum to the Green Climate Fund would guarantee an annual predictable replenishment of almost €10bn into the Fund which currently still stands empty. 

·        To learn more about the difference an FTT can make to eradicate poverty and fight climate change, read our factsheet here.

Blog post written by Jon Slater

Head of News

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