As the finishing touches are put on the world’s first regional Robin Hood Tax/Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) across most of Europe’s major economies, there’s one small country that would have plenty of reasons to get on board: Ireland
With that in mind we’re excited to announce that Robin Hood Tax Ireland is launching this week! And it’s needed now more than ever.
The Irish banks have so far managed to avoid footing the bill for a crisis they helped cause. And as one of the European countries hardest hit by the banking crash, it’s been the Irish people who’ve paid the highest price:
- Each Irish citizen is paying a debt of 9,000 Euro for the crisis, compared to the average 192 Euro per person across the continent;
- Last year more than 30% of Irish people have been found to live in deprivation;
- One in ten is at risk of food poverty.
This can’t go on.
So this Tuesday, campaigners from 40 different organisations across Ireland came together to demand an end to business as usual for the banks. Irish charities, trade unions, faith organisations, environmental groups are calling on their government to join the European Robin Hood Tax/FTT project.
And with great uncertainty in stock markets around the world, they know that the FTT/Robin Hood Tax would be a great way to curb the sort of speculative trading that caused the crash, as well as raising the much needed funds to invest into Irish society and its global commitments.
Respected think tank Nevin Economic Research Institute is estimating that the tax could raise about 320 to 360 million Euro each year for the Irish exchequer. The financial crisis and recession have left massive holes in the Irish public finances and this revenue could help solve a lot of the problems that the financial institutions in Ireland have helped create:
- It could help repair badly diminished public services;
- It could be used to invest in the transitions we need to mitigate and adapt to climate change as outlined in the Paris COP agreement in December;
- It could help us honour our poverty reduction targets laid out in September’s Sustainable Development Goals. It could reinforce our international support for global equality. The Irish aid budget today stands at just 35 cents in every 100 euro, and is only halfway to meeting international commitments.
Elections in Ireland are looming and the campaign aims to put pressure on political parties to commit to implementing a Financial Transaction Tax/Robin Hood Tax when elected. The Irish Government has so far resisted opting into the European FTT, but with the backing of the likes of Germany, France – as well as over a million actions! – we need to keep the pressure up to make sure they know that it’s never been a better time to make sure the banks pay their fair share.