Robin Hood: it CAN work, say experts
The ‘Fighting for a Financial Transactions Tax‘ conference in Brussels is now tackling the operational detail of an FTT. All the speakers (see list at the end) are emphasising that FTTs are technically feasible – and more than that, vital.
Dr Reddy reported that both China and India already have such taxes without any indication of capital flight. John Evans pointed out that the tax would be implemented mostly by the very technology which made the transactions possible. MEPs from the Socialists and the Greens said that what was missing was political will, not technical capacity. Alex Strickner said we should follow the US example and get people active – she mentioned the UK Robin Hood Tax, the German Tax against Poverty and the soon to be launched Italian zero-zero-five campaign.
YV Reddy has produced some of the best quotes. He said “the experience of China and India is clear: will it be different in Europe? Maybe, but I rather doubt it!” And also “these taxes don’t stop people investing, they only affect rich people’s ability to buy luxuries.” On the question of unilateral vs multilateral measures, he said “if every nation waits for global co-ordination, then it won’t happen. … If people want it to work, it can.”
Speakers: Professors Ross Buckley (Uni of New South Wales) and Stephany Griffith-Jones (Uni of Columbia, New York); Dr Y.V. Reddy, Emeritus Professor at Uni of Hyderabad and former Governor of the Reserve Bank of India; MEPs Udo Bullmann (German Socialist) and Eva Joly (French Green); John Evans – General Secretary of the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD; and Alexandra Strickner from ATTAC Austria.