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Congress condemns government refusal to sign up for financial transaction tax

Date Released: 06 May 2014

Congress General Secretary David Begg has condemned Ireland’s refusal to sign up to the Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) announced today (May 6) by 10 EU member states, describing the decision as “yet another surrender to the same forces that bankrupted us in 2008.”

A total of 10 EU member states signed up to the new FTT initiative unveiled at the ECOFIN meeting in Brussels today, including: Germany, France, Greece and Spain. This will see a tax of 0.1% raised on trading in bonds and a tax of 0.1% on trading in derivitaves.

It will come into force in January 2016. 

The Irish Government has refused to support or participate in the ground breaking initiative.

“In normal circumstances, the introduction of this tax makes perfect sense as it will curb speculative financial activity and curtail the reckless behaviour that brought the global financial system crashing down in 2008," Mr Begg said. 

“In a time of acute crisis, with relentless pressure on national finances, the case for the FTT becomes even more compelling. Research by the Nevin Institute (NERI) and Congress estimates Ireland could gain between €300-€500 million per annum from this tax.

“In these circumstances, the refusal to implement and support the tax represents a dereliction of duty,” Mr Begg said.

A Congress briefing on the FTT is available to view or download at: 

http://www.ictu.ie/download/pdf/the_case_for_the_ftt.pdf


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