3 November 2010: The Belgian government has announced plans to use its Presidency of the European Union (EU) to put the Global Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) on the G20 agenda in Seoul, Korea, from 11-12 November 2010.
The announcement was made by Mr Didier Reynders, Belgium’s Finance Minister, who also committed his government to work on the technical aspects of the FTT project at an EU level. As explained in previous articles on the FTT, the tax is a charge on a specific type of financial transaction designated as taxable. It would be used as a tool to discourage short-term speculation without discouraging any other financial activity. Recent figures show that the application of an FTT at a rate of 0.05 per cent could generate around 200 billion Euros every year.
Echoing previous comments on the FTT, Ms Anni Podimata, Member of the European Parliament (MEP) and a member of the social democrats political group of the European Parliament, said: “The FTT is a significant tool to fight against speculation in financial markets which was one of the main causes of the recent financial crisis. In this way we can give a convincing and efficient response to EU citizens who are very sensitive to this issue. The people who are responsible for the collapse of the financial markets should pay their share to repair the damage they have caused. It is a matter of social justice.”
Global March Governing Board member Education International (EI) believes that the application of an FTT would allow governments around the world to achieve three core goals. Firstly, to repair the growing cost of the global financial and economic crisis by reducing unacceptably high rates of unemployment. Secondly, to fulfil important development assistance, like education for all children and the elimination of child labour around the globe. Finally, the tax could help to dampen the financial markets’ speculative bubbles which pose high risks to many economies.
Consequently, Global March shares EI’s welcome of the Belgian government’s use of its EU presidency to pursue the FTT and its application by G20 leaders.