The case for and against a financial transaction tax
Brief report from a meeting in Brussels, June 14, organized by IDS, CIDSE, Oxfam and Concord.
This was a kind of high-level meeting, with lots of important people, even from the financial sector and from the European Commission. And this clearly is evidence of the importance the topic of global taxes is taking. As Jean Saldanha from CIDSE said in her introduction, if you mentioned a Financial Transaction Tax five years ago, you were simply laughed at, but today, it is not a joke anymore.
Ernesto Zedillo shakes up a panel discussion on international financial institutions and global public goods. 'I would say the balance in terms of concrete achievements [in development] is not only discouraging, but frightening'. An on the G20: 'it is a disaster. It is a joke. It is not a serious exercise'.
GENEVA, Jun (IPS) More than 200 million people are officially unemployed worldwide, including nearly 80 million young women and men eager to secure their first job. Both figures are at their highest points ever, but this is only the tip of the iceberg. The number of workers in vulnerable employment - 1.5 billion (around half of the world's labour force) - and persons working but surviving on less than US$2.00 per day - 1.2 billion - is on the rise again.
It is interesting to note that throughout the global economic crisis there has not been a hot debate on the future direction of the welfare state in developed countries. In a sense the lack of debate is unsurprising since the epicentre of the crisis was the financial sector and the culprits could not so easily place the blame on the welfare state as has so often been done in previous economic crises. Those developed countries most affected by the crisis began to adopt temporary social assistance to address problems at the initial stage. However, fiscal austerity soon crept in to the policy framework used to respond to the crisis, and welfare states in many developed countries are now expected to be rolled back.
In its vote on June 8 2011, the European Parliament made its proposals for the new multiannual Financial Framework for the European Union. Once again, it calls for the introduction of an FTT in order to contribute to the own resources of the Union. See paragraphs 170-177.
Furthermore, in a chapter which should have been called 'development cooperation', it only talks about 'poverty alleviation' ... see paragraphs 113 and further on.
Bill Gates likes to be thought of as a great philanthropist. He’s referred to as such, so I guess he’s happy about it. And in some senses he is .
But remember he gets tax relief as a result.
Before the 2008–09 economic crisis, many banks and hedge funds used OFCs for off-balance-sheet activities such as the so-called special purpose vehicles or structured investment vehicles. These vehicles were typically funded in onshore financial markets and purchased onshore assets.
Everywhere, development cooperation is looking for new ways to work. And unfortunately, these ways are not always the most altruistic. More and more, the private sector is called upon to 'help' and receives the aid money ...
For a recent example, read the DFID document on the role of the private sector in development.
In the Commission for Finance and the Commission for European Affairs of the French Parliament the party of Sarkozy (UMP) has taken up the draft resolution of the Socialist Party (PS) on the FTT with some changes.