European Public Service Workers disappointed at further delays on FTT Agreement

(8 December 2015 - Press Release) There was much expectation around today’s Economy and Finance Council of the European Union.

The broad coalition of trade unions, NGOs and civil society that has formed around the demand for a strong Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) hoped that this would finally be the moment of an agreement. Commissioner Moscovici now says he hopes for an agreement by summer 2016. It is nearly three years since the proposal was first put on the table and the endless delays are now becoming a farce.

Jan Willem Goudriaan, General Secretary of the European Public Service Union (EPSU), is disappointed at the lack of results: “The FTT is an opportunity for European countries to gain extra revenue for public services and would act as a much needed curb on speculation in the financial sector.”

The FTT is an opportunity to make the financial sector give something back to the societies from which it has taken so much over recent years. The countries involved need to agree a strong FTT, without loopholes. European governments have no problem coming to a decision on budget cuts, so they should be able to reach an agreement on the FTT.”

This delay is bad not only for Europe but also for all of those expecting the EU to set a precedent and create momentum for an international FTT,” added Mr Goudriaan.

A broad FTT covering most financial instruments in Europe would be a major deterrent against some of the most damaging practices of the financial sector, such as high-speed trading and speculation against debt and commodities. As well as providing extra resources for cash-strapped governments, it would act as a break on the type of speculation to which several European countries have already fallen victim.

Governments need to stop delaying and implement this simple measure that will bring widespread benefit to public services and the economy, in Europe and beyond.

For further information, please contact:
Ruby Waterworth, rwaterworth@epsu.org, +32 2 2501089

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