Will EU be first to implement a Robin Hood Tax?
The Robin Hood Tax campaign is not picky about who introduces a financial transactions tax first. A domestic tax could be brought in by next month’s Budget. The G20 Finance Ministers could agree a global tax at their next meeting in April. Or the European Union could act first.
This week, that last option became a lot more likely. The new EU Commissioner for Finance, Michel Barnier, advocated an EU initiative and the European Commission has subsequently urged European Union member states to consider the introduction of taxes levied on financial transactions in order to increase their revenue.
And on Tuesday, the European Parliament’s economic and monetary affairs committee discussed the idea of a financial transactions tax, agreed a question to put to the Commission on the issue at the next plenary meeting of the European Parliament in late March as well as a motion – both generally positive towards the idea of a European initiative.
The committee would not have done what it did without support from all the major political groups in the Parliament: not just the Greens and the Socialists/Democrats who strongly support a financial transactions tax, but also the Liberals and the conservative European People’s Party (which doesn’t include Britain’s Conservatives).
Europeans for Financial Reform are holding a conference on financial transactions taxes on Monday 15 March, the week before the next European Parliament plenary session and the next European Union summit. And EU Finance Ministers will be meeting to consider finance sector reform in April. The race may be on.