From the TUC

Greens back Robin Hood (and so do many more)

15 Mar 2010, by in Economics, International

European Green leader Philippe Lamberts MEP has spoken today about why Greens across Europe support the Robin Hood Tax. Joining the Europeans for Financial Reform conference on ‘Fighting for a Financial Transactions Tax (FTT) – how and why?‘ he stressed that the crisis wasn’t over, and that Europe’s people needed an FTT, not forgetting the north-south benefits of an FTT. He said an FTT was needed to make the economy work for people rather than the other way round.

Meanwhile International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) General Secretary Guy Ryder said that Governments around the world were asking “where the hell are we going to get the money from?” $700 billion a year was needed around the OECD to meet the costs of the recession, of climate change and of global poverty. The case for an FTT wasn’t just theoretical it was vital.

Guy Ryder also called the bluff of the greedy speculators who caused the crisis and were now blackmailing Governments to oppose FTTs. He said that in the UK, people guilty of anti-social behaviour were often threatened with exclusion from the communities where they had wreaked havoc, but speculators guilty of far worse anti-social behaviour were, ironically, threatening to exile themselves!

Professor Pedro Paez, Ecuador’s Minister for Economic Policy Co-ordination, drew attention to the needs of the global south. While people in the north were losing their jobs, people in the south faced losing everything. The crisis was provoked in the north but suffered in the south.

Andreas Scheider, Secretary of State for Finance in Austria, said “the more universally it is implemented, the better, but an FTT could work at European level or even a smaller number of states. Some people say ‘global’ when they mean ‘never’, but we want a tax as soon as possible.”

Pervenche Beres, socialist MEP and Chair of the Employment and Social Affairs Committee also spoke in favour, along with Damon Silvers, Director of Policy at the AFL-CIO.