Latest Unite Economic Comment highlights need for Financial Transaction Tax to ‘break the link’ between banking debt and state

Jimmy Kelly 1 copyResponsibility for crisis lies with financial sector

November 7th: In its latest Economic Comment published today, trade Union Unite calls on the Government not only to join the other eleven EU countries who have so far committed to introducing a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT), but also to campaign for a proportion of the FTT revenue to be set aside for repaying Irish and Eurozone bank debt.

Commenting, Unite Regional Secretary Jimmy Kelly said:   

“At present, the Irish public is carrying the can for billions in banking debt on the state books. The Eurozone as a whole may be exposed to a staggering €900 billion bank debt bill.

“Currently, the EU estimates that the FTT as it stands would raise over €30 billion.  It would raise more if more countries, such as Ireland, signed up.  A percentage of that revenue should be ring-fenced into a bank-debt compensation fund which would repay countries that have experienced bank debt bring imposed on their public books.  This would benefit not just Ireland, but all countries whose citizens are being asked to bear the burden of bank debt.

“Bank debt is dragging down our economy and our society.  Unite’s proposal would ensure that the responsibility for repaying banking debt lies with the sector that caused this crisis – the financial sector”, Jimmy Kelly said.

Unite researcher Michael Taft said:

“Recouping our bank debt through the revenue from the Financial Taxation Tax is the most efficient way to break the link between banking and state debt.  This is likely to gain greater support in European capitals than proposals to share out the bank debt burden.  Putting the responsibility on the financial sector means that European taxpayers will not be exposed to a banking crisis that is still far from over”.

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