Letter in today’s Irish Times
EU and financial transactions tax
A total of 11 EU member states have announced plans to introduce a financial transactions tax.
The Government has failed to opt into this process.
Some 25 leading civil society organisations have joined Claiming Our Future to call for the introduction of a financial transactions tax in Ireland.
These include the Irish Congress of Trade Unions, Mandate, Impact and Siptu; Trócaire, Christian Aid and Oxfam; Feasta and Cultivate; and the European Anti Poverty Network, the Irish National Organisation of the Unemployed, Social Justice Ireland, and the National Women’s Council of Ireland.
The 11 member states involved in bringing forward this financial transactions tax include Germany, France, Greece and Spain. The tax would raise 0.1 per cent on trading in bonds and 0.01 per cent on trading in derivatives.
The proposal has been advanced through an “enhanced cooperation procedure”.
The Government chose not to opt into this procedure and has played no role in the development of this initiative. It could have raised between €300 million and €500 million for the Irish exchequer.
We are disappointed the Government did not take the opportunity to make the financial services sector contribute to the recovery of Irish society and economy.
It is extraordinary that the financial services lobby has been able to persuade the Government to opt out of this tax.
A financial transactions tax would raise much-needed revenue for the exchequer, reduce harmful economic activity by short-term speculators and high-frequency financial traders, and make resources available to invest in public services, address climate change, eliminate poverty and support development aid.
Claiming Our Future,
2/3 Parnell Square East,