Saturday, March 16, 2013

EU unveils revised 'Robin Hood' tax

EU unveils revised 'Robin Hood' tax
Published on Feb 14, 2013


The European Commission on Thursday unveiled a new proposal for a tax on financial transactions that could be collected worldwide.

Only 11 EU nations want to take part, but they need to strike a deal together before the levy can become a reality.

Those countries are Germany; France; Austria; Belgium; Estonia; Greece; Italy; Portugal; Spain; Slovakia; and Slovenia.

Algirdas Semeta, EU Commissioner for Taxation said he was "quite optimistic that (those) member states will be able to reach an agreement relatively quickly."

The 11 countries that say they want to adopt the so-called FTT account for two-thirds of EU growth.

The European Commission says the tax on share, bond and derivative trades will raise up to 35 billion euros a year.

Yet its own study on the now-defunct pan-EU proposal found it would reduce economic growth.

Investors, meanwhile, argue that the costs will be passed on to savers.

James Watson, BusinessEurope chief economist, told euronews: "If you've got a pension fund and that pension is investing in companies as most fund pensions do, than in the long term you as a pensioner are going to be paying this tax".

ATTAC, a lobby group in favour of the so-called Robin Hood tax, said any revenues raised should be used for fighting poverty.

"Profits from this levy on financial transactions should be used to help development in the Third World," said Jean Flinker of the organisation's Brussels office.

"We must fight against austerity and find new ways to tax the banks, which continue to make massive profits even in a time of crisis."

Trades outside the FTT zone will not escape the levy.

If a party to the trade is based in one of the 11 nations, then the tax would apply which gives it a potentially global reach.

Non-FTT countries such as the UK are worried this could lead to discriminatory 'double taxation' and hamper the effectiveness of the EU's single market.

Find on:


European Union Plans Tax on Financial Transactions

EU Leadership Plans Tax on Financial Transactions, Newsy Business, Oct. 1, 2011



The European Commission is putting forward plans for a financial transactions tax in an effort to recoup some of the bailouts the EU has given out to fend off the financial crisis and to curb future speculative trading that contributed to the creation of the crisis.

Bloomberg gives us the lowdown.

“The proposal would apply a tax of 0.1 percent on trading of stocks and bonds, with a 0.01 percent rate for derivatives contracts [...] The proposed tax is aimed at banks, investment firms, insurance companies, pension funds, stockbrokers and hedge funds, among other types of financial firms.”

The tax, laid out by Commission President José Manuel Barroso in a speech to the European Parliament could bring in about €55 billion in revenue. According to the Financial Times, Barroso argues EU countries have guaranteed more than 4 trillion Euro to support the banking sector.

“It’s a question of fairness… it is time for the financial sector to make a contribution back to society.”

Left-leaning British newspaper Morning Star quotes former investment banker Sony Kapoor supporting the tax.

“Financial transaction taxes, appropriately designed, can not only raise substantial revenue but also enhance stability by discouraging destabilising trading that serves little economic purpose.”

The European Commission wants the tax to come into effect in 2014, but there are political hurdles. The UK is firmly against taxing financial activity, London’s banking center is the focal point of the global financial markets.

Transcript by Newsy.

Nurses Rally in Chicago to Heal America, Tax Wall Street

Nurses Rally in Chicago to Heal America, Tax Wall Street, National Nurses United, YouTube, Sept. 1, 2011

Nurses rallied in Chicago as part of a nationwide appeal to Heal America, Tax Wall Street. Every day, at their jobs, nurses are on the front lines of our sick economy. They see patients who can’t afford their medications, prenatal care, and other essential services. But nurses know there is a solution.

It’s time for politicians to stop coddling Wall Street and start caring for Main Street America. National Nurses United is proposing a small tax on Wall Street transactions that would both curb reckless speculation and provide up to 350 billion in funds to heal our ailing economy.

Economist Dean Baker Advocates for Speculation Tax on Financial Transactions

Why we need to tax Wall Street transactions, Public Citizen, Jan. 29, 2010

Bills before Congress would create a speculation tax on financial transactions that could raise funds from the rich while deterring the harmful churning of stocks. Economist Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic Policy Research, discusses why we need a speculation tax, or financial transaction tax.

Stock Transfer Tax, “Year in Ideas 2008″, New York Times Magazine, 12/14/2008

The New York Times magazine called it one of the top ideas of 2008, and numerous economists support the FTT.

Baker “estimates that a small tax of up to one quarter of 1 percent imposed on the sale of a wide range of securities would do more than curb speculation; it would also yield $100 billion to $150 billion — money that could go toward paying for aid to Wall Street. Better still, Baker contends, most of the revenue would end up coming from Wall Street, not ordinary investors.”

Robin Hood Tax on Financial Transactions in United Kingdom Could Raise Hundreds of Billions

The Banker, by the Robin Hood Tax, UK, Feb. 9, 2010

Campaign video by Richard Curtis and Bill Nighy, about the Robin Hood Tax, a tiny tax on bank transactions that could raise hundreds of billions for public services and to tackle poverty and climate change at home and around the world.

RobinHood Global March to Tax Financial Transactions

OCTOBER 29 – #ROBINHOOD GLOBAL MARCH, Adbusters, Oct. 29, 2011

Adbusters, the global network that initiated the idea of Occupy Wall Street and their website, has now initiated a new campaign, a global march set for Saturday, October 29, 2011, the eve of the G20 Leaders Summit in France.

Adbusters is proposing “let the people of the world rise up and demand that our G20 leaders immediately impose a 1% #ROBINHOOD tax on all financial transactions and currency trades. Let’s send them a clear message: We want you to slow down some of that $1.3-trillion easy money that’s sloshing around the global casino each day – enough cash to fund every social program and environmental initiative in the world.”

This is a proposal by Adbusters for the general assemblies of the Occupy movement to organize protests in cities throughout the world on Saturday, Oct. 29, 2011.

Bill Gates Drafts Plans for Robin Hood Tax for G20 Meeting in France

Bill Gates backs Robin Hood tax on bank trades, Guardian, UK, 9/22/2011

Microsoft founder to tell G20 to back the tax which could raise $48bn a year for aid and development

Gates was asked by French President Nicolas Sarkozy to come up with draft plans of the proposed financial transaction tax before the G20 meeting in Cannes, Frances on November 3, 2011.

Max Lawson, spokesman for the Robin Hood Tax campaign, said Gates’s backing for a transaction tax meant it was “game on”. He added: “The Germans and French moving ahead to implement the tax. “George Osborne needs to support this tax and show us he is on the side of the poor and the needy, not the banks and the greedy.”

“Let Wall Street Pay for the Restoration of Main Street Act” Languishes in U.S. Congress

Let Wall Street Pay for the Restoration of Main Street Act

Congressman Peter DiFazio, a Democrat from Oregon, had introduced H.R. 4191, the Let Wall Street Pay for the Restoration of Main Street Act. This bill would asses a minuscule ¼ of one percent tax on speculative Wall Street trading and an infinitesimal two hundredth of one percent on exotic derivatives. This tax was specifically targeted at high volume speculative traders on Wall Street, and would have no impact on average investors and pension funds. Under this bill the speculation tax would be exempted or refunded from tax-favored retirement accounts, mutual funds, education savings accounts, health savings accounts, and the first $100,000 of transactions annually.

See DeFazio’a Introduction of the bill as announced in his Congressional website at DEFAZIO INTRODUCES LEGISLATION INVOKING WALL STREET ‘TRANSACTION TAX’

The bill was introduced to the U.S. House of Representatives on December 3, 2009 and only received the support of 25 of DeFazio’s colleagues in the House.

A similar bill was introduced in the Senate by Sen. Tom Harkin (D – Iowa). Harkin calls for tax on financial transactions, The Hill, April 16, 2010. Harkin and others argued a very small levy on short-term financial transactions would curb speculative trading and raise an estimated $100 billion annually.

A Small Tax on Wall Street Could be A Big Help to the U.S. Economy

A Small Tax on Wall Street Could be A Big Help to the U.S. Economy, The Christian Science Monitor, Opinion, Oct. 19, 2011

A modestly higher financial transaction tax, or FTT, could discourage speculation, lead to less price volatility, and encourage long-term investment. One estimate projects such a ‘sales tax’ on Wall Street may raise $175 billion a year, even if it cut the total number of transactions in half.

Liberal economist Dean Baker thinks it is a good idea to raise federal revenues to impose a special tax on stock trades and some other Wall Street trading activities.

This tax is referred to as a “financial transaction tax” or FTT a “Tobin tax” as it was first urged by Nobel prize winning James Tobin in 1972.

An FTT bill called “Let Wall Street Pay for the Restoration of Main Street Act” has already been before the Congress of the United States.

Revenues from a FTT could be used to provide useful jobs for the unemployed.

The Occupy Wall Street protests around the country voice a common objection to widespread greed and excess in the financial industry.

The 27 member countries of the European Union are considering their own FTT that would apply to stocks, bonds, and other derivatives. The President of the European Commission says such a tax could raise $74 billion annually.