David Hillman, director of Stamp out Poverty, and Richard Gower, a senior policy advisor from Oxfam took the case for the FTT all the way to the House of Lords, to the EU Economic and Financial Affairs and International Trade Sub-Committee (phew) to be precise.
This proved to be an extremely interesting session with our advocates presenting the main positives of implementing an FTT, and just to re-cap, these are:
1) Revenue raising ability (in the region of £20 billion annually in the UK alone)
2) To reduce high-frequency speculative trading leading to a more stable financial system going forward
3) To compensate for the implicit subsidy that banks receive from the Government which provides them with cheap borrowing compared to other sectors and therefore, disproportionate profits.
4) Technically simple to implement and collect
5) Huge amount of political momentum behind FTTs at the moment, particularly from Germany and France
6) FTTs are equitable and progressive – they will fall on the richest institutions and individuals in society
John Vella, from Oxford University’s Business Taxation Centre, agreed that the financial sector should be taxed more but felt that a Financial Activities Tax (FAT) (a tax on excessive profit and very high remuneration) would be a better solution. However, the FTTs advantage over the FAT is that it will help regulate financial markets whilst simultaneously raising significant amounts of revenue which could be used to fight poverty in the UK and abroad. It makes sense. Act now:
To check out David and Richard in action, click here: