Earlier this week, I added my backing to an international campaign for the introduction of a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT).
The principle behind the FTT is to levy a small tax on large financial transactions within the financial sector. This has the potential to raise billions of pounds worldwide to tackle poverty, climate change and health challenges as well as protecting public services and jobs.
This channelling of money from big financial institutions towards greater social benefits has earned FTT a nickname – The Robin Hood Tax.
Research published this week looking at the merits of FTTs suggests that the tax would be implementable and could make a significant contribution to revenue in major financial economies. The report’s conclusions are not as optimistic as supporters of the tax would suggest, nor as negative as its opponents, but it does suggest that FTT deserves to be looked at closely.
Back in March, Members of the European Parliament voted to back a report calling for the introduction of FTT.
At a time when public services are being cut and people’s jobs are at risk there is widespread support for the financial sector to shoulder its share of responsibility for the current situation and to make a far greater contribution to help turn the economy around.
Not only would the tax help to safeguard jobs and public services, it could also help to rebuild the reputation of our banks by demonstrating their commitment to social responsibility.