Published 18/10/16   5:57 pm

Core elements of European FTT deal agreed

With FTT negotiations deadlocked, strong pressure from civil society changed the minds of three blocking countries resulting in a breakthrough at a meeting of finance ministers on 10 October.

All 10 European countries involved in the process, including France, Germany, Italy and Spain agreed to the core elements of the FTT deal, including what will be taxed and how the tax will be collected.

Finance Ministers then went a step further, instructing experts and officials to complete all remaining stages to sign-off FTT legislation in December.  This signals their strong intent to move forward without delay. The FTT is happening.

The EU Tax Commissioner, Pierre Moscovici, hailed the landmark meeting last week as “very important progress“, and a crucial show of solidarity to help “finance public goods such as development or the fight against global warming”.

This progress has undoubtedly been helped by civil society activity.

In the lead up to the 10 October meeting, over 250 academics and economists from 23 countries signed a letter, calling on heads of states to make history and introduce a tax which is “technically feasible and economically and socially desirable”.

And in response to thousands of tweets to the European finance ministers involved in the process, Italy’s finance minister, Pier Carlo Padoan, replied. He confirmed that he backs the project and supports the work of the 10 countries introducing the FTT.

Finance ministers and heads of states are listening.

But our work isn’t over just yet. The devil is in the detail. A number of further issues still need to be negotiated for a strong FTT deal. We need to ensure that tax rates are high enough that sufficient revenue can be collected to make a real impact in the fight against poverty and climate change. This means that there can be no special exemptions or carve-outs.
We will be following the negotiations closely over the coming months and we will need your help to hold finance ministers to account.

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