Great news as President Francois Hollande has just introduced a 0.2% levy on share trading in France.
The tax, which came into effect today, will be imposed on purchases of shares in France’s largest companies. It is expected to raise 500 million euros (£390 million) next year and Hollande has indicated that part of the revenue will be used to fight global poverty and HIV/Aids.
Advocates of the tax say that it will also help curb the speculation which has been blamed for contributing towards the financial crash of 2008.
David Hillman, Stamp Out Poverty’s Director, speaking on behalf of the Robin Hood Tax campaign, said: “It’s great news that France is forging ahead with a Robin Hood Tax – showing it’s capable of putting the interests of people before the profits of a privileged few”.
France is not alone. Many of Europe’s other biggest economies are making the banks pay their fair share for the damage they’ve caused. Currently a group of 9 European countries (Austria, Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Portugal, Slovenia and Spain) have agreed to implement a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) covering not just shares but also bonds and derivatives. The tax would raise a massive £26.8 billion a year – this is much needed revenue to fund domestic and international social priorities, such as save jobs and tackle poverty and climate change.
Yet, instead of doing the same, the UK Government chooses to protect their friends in the City by promising to “fight it [the FTT] all the way” as they wrongly believe that the tax would be damaging to the City of London and wider UK economy. On the contrary a study by Avinash Persaud, President of a leading City think tank, shows that an FTT would actually be good for growth and jobs – generating 75,000 new jobs in the UK alone. Persaud has now been joined by more than 50 finance industry professionals in support of an FTT.