EI is set to join other global union federations and civil society organisations to organise a global day of action in support of the Financial Transactions Tax (FTT) on 17 February, to coincide with the meeting of G20 finance ministers in Paris.
The FTT, or Robin Hood Tax, is a charge on a specific type of financial transactions designated as taxable. It is used as a tool to discourage short-term speculation without discouraging any other financial activity. Recent figures show that the application of an FTT at a rate of 0.05% could generate 200 billion Euros every year.
EI believes that the application of an FTT would allow governments around the world to achieve three core goals. Firstly, to repair the growing cost of the global financial and economic crisis by reducing unacceptably high rates of unemployment. Secondly, to fulfil important development assistance, like education for all children, around the globe. Finally, the tax could help to dampen the financial markets’ speculative bubbles which pose high risks to many economies.
EI President, Susan Hopgood, said: “It is of crucial importance for a transactions’ tax to be implemented because it will ensure financial resources are made available to achieve the Millennium Development Goals, especially Education for All.
“As the world faces economic, environmental and food crises, while we continue to witness so much poverty, millions of children out of school, and alarmingly low rates of adult literacy in some parts of the globe, teacher unionists are determined to be at the forefront of demanding an historic transfer of billions of dollars from the super rich to the poor in our world through a financial transactions tax.”
Over the past 18 months, the FFT has shifted from a ‘radical’ idea to a realistic proposition that has been considered by the International Monetary Fund, the European Commission, the G20 and a number of national governments.
The French government, which is currently chairing the G8 and G20, is championing the FTT for global public goods.
EI believes that as public anger towards the financial sector grows because of the extent of many governments’ austerity measures which are beginning to bite, 2011 is a critical point for the campaign to set up an FTT. This global day of action is an opportunity to demand that significant progress is made now.
EI calls on all its affiliates to join actions in their countries to support the creation of this tax.