IDS: Moving from 'whether' to 'how' in the Robin Hood Tax debate
Last week more than 80 experts met in Brussels for a high-level debate on whether a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) could provide a new source of funding in the wake of the financial crisis.
The event, hosted by the Institute of Development Studies, CIDSE, Oxfam International and CONCORD, launched new research from IDS's Neil McCulloch on the feasibility of implementing an FTT.
Dr. McCulloch discussed in his blog post after the event how the tone of the debate on FTTs has changed: “The question is no longer, ‘Should we have an FTT?’ but instead, ‘How can we implement an FTT in a way that makes sense?’”
He outlined four things which still needed to be done to make an FTT a reality: clear political leadership within the EU and by the G20; technical details of how the tax would be implemented; clarification of who would be paying the tax; and a promise from governments that the money would go towards "something useful".
He said: “There is now a lot of evidence that the tax is feasible. Even the IMF, who oppose the tax, acknowledge that it is technically feasible (see IMF 2010). When I have spoken privately to senior bankers and financial market actors they all agree that, in principle, it can be done.”
Max Lawson from the Robin Hood Tax campaign also stressed the importance of ensuring that any such tax be used for fighting poverty and climate change at home and abroad.