Photo: YouTube via LadyAmaltheaUnicorn
Eleven members of the Eurozone have finally agreed to adopt a financial transaction tax often referred to as a ‘Robin Hood tax’ first discussed in September 2011.The tax will apply at the rate of 0.1 per cent on stock and bond transactions and 0.01 per cent on derivative trades.
The countries in question are Austria, Belgium, Estonia, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Slovakia, Slovenia, and Spain.
According to Ed King, these countries comprise 90% of the Eurozone’s GDP.
According to the European Council, the purpose of the tax is “to ensure that the financial sector fairly and substantially contributes to the costs of the crisis and that it is taxed in a fair way vis-à-vis other sectors for the future, to disincentivise excessively risky activities by financial institutions, to complement regulatory measures aimed at avoiding future crises and to generate additional revenue for general budgets or specific policy purposes.”
Oxfam estimates the tax will boost these government’s coffers by a combined €37 billion per year.
Notably absent from this agreement is the U.K., as The Guardian‘s Peter Hain observes. His op-ed “Why Labour should put the Robin Hood tax centre stage” lambastes the government for passing up an estimated £8 billion of annual revenue, which could be used to stimulate job creation.
As the official release from the European Council notes, this is the first time that a group of member states have agreed to ‘enhanced cooperation’ in the area of taxation.
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