European Socialist Leaders call for Financial Transaction Tax

Labour Party

European Socialist Prime Ministers and Deputy Prime Ministers call today for a tax on financial transactions across Europe. The tax, often named the “Robin Hood” tax on account of its aim to take money from the wealthy financial sector to redirect it to the public sphere, has for many years been supported by members of the S & D Group in the European Parliament as well as a number of celebrities including Bill Nighy.

You may be interested to read the following statement from the Socialist Prime Ministers and Deputy Prime Ministers and the Party of European Socialists ahead of the European Council on 24th and 25th March:

At the European Council meeting on 24th and 25th March 2011, decisions will be taken which will have far reaching consequences on the European economy and our societies.

The Party of European Socialists (PES) and its Prime Ministers and Deputy Prime Ministers, firmly reiterate our call for a balanced approach in tackling the economic, financial and social crisis in Europe. We commit to promoting efficient and fair solutions to reunite the necessary fiscal consolidation with strong sustainable growth, high employment and social progress.

At the meeting in Athens on 4th and 5th March 2011, the PES Leaders identified concrete policies to restore a balanced common approach to the challenges Europe is facing and adopted a declaration to this purpose.

We are focusing on four decisive points:

Financial Transaction Tax

The PES has for a long time been at the forefront in calling for a European Financial Transaction Tax (FTT). We reiterate our call for the immediate implementation of such a tax in the European Union, to raise fair and sustainable revenue to support economic recovery and public finances in all member states and to mitigate speculation on the financial markets.

The Rescue Mechanism

We welcome the setting up of a permanent rescue mechanism for the eurozone, which rewards the tenacity of European socialists and social democrats over the past 13 months. However, more needs to be done. The future European Stability Mechanism, as well as the current European Financial Stability Facility, must furthermore apply balanced conditionality, allowing for sustainable public finances as well as growth and employment. Interest rates charged on rescue loans must for this reason be aligned to market financing rates.

Europe 2020

Within the framework of the reform of EU and eurozone economic governance and economic policy coordination, we reiterate our commitment to reaching the objectives of the Europe 2020 strategy. To ensure, that our 2020-objectives can be reached, we need to develop further the economic pillar of the eurozone in a balanced way. For this purpose, National Reform Programmes and Stability and Convergence Programmes must be prepared according to the integrated guidelines.

Furthermore, the issue of macroeconomic imbalances in the Eurozone must be tackled, notably by promoting economic efficiency in deficit countries and internal demand in surplus countries.

Balanced reform

We urge for a balanced reform which includes an “Employment and Social Progress Pact”, establishing common and ambitious measures to preserve and strengthen our social models, inter alia relating to labour standards, minimum income and workers’ rights. Moreover, we reiterate our demand that the autonomy of social partners, notably in wage setting processes for which the EU has no competence, must be respected.


One thought on “European Socialist Leaders call for Financial Transaction Tax

  1. Raising taxes of any kind does not ‘support economic recovery’. Those who cannot grasp this should watch a brilliant Channel Four programme called Britain’s Trillion Pound Horror Story

    The programme is informative in many ways and one of the horrors, apart from the size of our National Debt, is the failure of our politicians to grasp the most elementary facts about our problems.

    Many MPs were interviewed and Parliamentarians from each branch of the Lib/Lab/Con Party showed that they did not know the difference between the Budget Deficit and the National Debt. They seemed to think that the problem was the Budget Deficit of about £155 billion pounds not the National Debt of £4.8 trillion. I have no doubt that this error is wide-spread in the House of Commons but the ones who exposed their ignorance on the programme were, Tom Brake (LibDem), Cathy Jamieson (Lab), Ben Bradshaw (Lab), Alan Johnson (Lab), Rachel Reeves (Lab) and Elizabeth Truss (Con).

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