From the TUC

Euro-MPs on Robin Hood Tax: at last, someone says “yes we can”

08 Mar 2011, by in International

One of the main obstacles to the Robin Hood Tax has been the buck-passing or world leaders, who are always looking for someone else to make the first move, or for everyone else to agree before they will. Apart from the clear failure to understand what the word “leader” actually means, this is almost always only an excuse for inaction, which lets the financial sector off the hook while public services are slashed, the poor get poorer and the world heats up.

Today the European Parliament has broken the logjam and voted 360-299 in favour of a European-level financial transactions tax regardless of global agreement or individual action.

A combination of socialists, greens and those further left, together with substantial numbers of liberals and conservatives (although not, notably, the hard right group British Conservative MEPs belong to), voted to change the decision of the Economic Committee to drop the proposal. The TUC and ETUC have welcomed the decision.

This puts the pressure on the European Commission (which would prefer a smaller Financial Activities Tax to the Robin Hood Tax, unless – you’ve guessed it – there is agreement at the G20) and the Council of Ministers on which David Cameron represents the UK. We want a Robin Hood Tax, and we want it now!

6 Responses to Euro-MPs on Robin Hood Tax: at last, someone says “yes we can”

  1. PeterPannier
    Mar 8th 2011, 3:37 pm

    Eh? The Torygraph (and other sources) says it was “approved by 529 to 127”, with 18 abstentions. Where are your figures from.

    The news becomes less exciting when you consider that the budget it would have to be in doesn’t take place till 2013, and that our government has veto power, and would oppose any ‘tobin’ tax that wasn’t global.

    So… we’re basically where we started…

  2. Owen Tudor

    Owen Tudor
    Mar 8th 2011, 4:29 pm

    The figures I quoted were for the key amendment which covered the specific issue of an EU-level financial transactions tax. The larger majority you cite was the eventual vote on the whole report.

    But we’re not where we started. You are right that the European Parliament does not have tax-raising powers on its own, but it does have influence, and the vote was a key test of opinion. It chimes with what several of the Governments who do have the tax raising powers (collectively as the EU Council of Ministers and of course domestically too) are increasingly saying – so it is a step on the road.

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