Taxing financial transactions – from the moral case to practical implementation

21 June 2011

21 June 2011

More than 80 experts gathered in Brussels last week for a high-level debate on whether a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) can help plug the funding gap caused by the financial crisis.

Representatives from the financial sector, politics, academia, NGOs and EU policy making circles participated in the event, which launched new research from IDS' Neil McCulloch on the feasibility of implementing a FTT.

As Dr McCulloch discussed in his blog post after the event, the tone of the debate on FTTs has moved from whether a FTT can viably be implemented, to how it can practically be introduced. He said: 'The question is no longer, "Should we have a FTT?", but instead, "How can we implement a FTT in a way that makes sense?".'

Keynote speakers at FTT event

Delegates heard from keynote speakers Anni Podimata MEP, who authored a report supporting the FTT adopted by the European Parliament in March 2011, and Philip Kermode from the EU's Taxation and Customs Union (DG TAXUD), who provided an insight into the Commission's ongoing work around the impact of a FTT at a Eurozone level.

Both speakers supported the IDS research, with Ms Podimata saying the report is 'balanced and well-founded' and Mr Kermode describing it as a 'well-researched and scholarly piece of work.'

The event was hosted by the Institute of Development Studies, CIDSE, Oxfam International and CONCORD.