Education International
Education International

Global Day of Action for a financial transactions tax

published 21 June 2011 updated 22 June 2011

EI is encouraging all its affiliates to get behind the Global Day of Action on 22 June to demand a Financial Transactions Tax (FTT).

Leading into the launch of the Council of Global Unions’ Quality Public Services—Action Now! campaign on 23 June, trade union and civil society allies are calling on European leaders to endorse a financial transactions tax to help meet the cost of action against climate change, world poverty, and fund quality public services for all.

The hardships of the financial crisis have impacted hard working communities and teachers in schools around the world. The struggle to restore fiscal stability has required international cooperation and innovation which is why EI and fellow campaigners for financial reforms believe that the proposal for an FTT, which would generate revenue and monitor the financial sector whose actions were largely responsible for the recession, is an important tool that finance ministers must implement.

The trade union call for the FTT, supported by a wide range of economists, along with development, environmental and health groups, has been gaining political momentum. In recent weeks the momentum for an FTT has grown with support from the European Parliament, the French National Assembly, and the Brazilian Congress among others.

While the long-term goal is for the FTT to be implemented worldwide, establishing the tax in Europe, where there is the widest support, would be a significant and necessary step towards achieving this goal. Therefore, the Global Day of Action is calling for people and organisations around the world to demand European leaders implement the FTT.

European Union finance ministers met on 15 June and the European Council will meet from 23-24 June. This will be a key moment in the campaigning calendar to influence decision-makers ahead of the G20 meeting in November.

An online petition calling for the EU to utilise the FTT is a central component to the campaign. People can sign the petition online, and voice their opinion on why they believe the FTT is both fiscally and socially beneficial.

The petition outlines specific standards with which the FTT should be implemented. It calls for a tax of no less than 0.05 per cent and specifies that funds should go towards supporting social programs, not banking rescue funds. The petition is directed at Algirdas Šemeta, the European Commissioner for Tax.

EI’s Deputy General Secretary, Monique Fouilhoux, said: “EI supports the Global Day of Action campaign and the implementation of an FTT in the EU. Throughout the recession, the education sector has endured severe financial losses. Consequently, the shortage of personnel and resources has made it difficult for many schools to meet their commitments to provide quality education. It is evident that more financial security is needed for education and other fundamental institutions. We believe the FTT could help to provide this security.”