European Parliament votes overwhelmingly in favour of a Financial Transaction Tax

December 12, 2012 - The European Parliament today voted overwhelmingly in favour of a Financial Transaction Tax. With a vote of 533 in favour, 91 against, and 32 abstentions, the European Parliament approved a proposal by 11 member countries of the EU to introduce a Financial Transaction Tax under the Enhanced Cooperation Procedure.  The countries that will be introducing a FTT in 2013 include Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Belgium, Austria, Greece, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovania and Estonia. The 11 countries involved make up 90% of Eurozone GDP,  and will collectively raise at least $47 billion per year.

The funds raised will be used to support global poverty reduction, climate change mitigation and adaptation as well as contribute to the general revenue of the countries involved.

Not all EU countries are prepared to proceed with a FTT, most notably the British government of Conservative Prime Minister David Cameron. But the British government did not block others from going ahead and it is hoped that they will be able to demonstrate that is a workable and effective way to not only raise much needed funds but also to curb the worst excesses of speculation that was one of the main causes of the global financial crisis.

There will be renewed pressure on other countries, including Canada and the United States, to follow the European lead.