“The Harper government is not speaking on behalf of most Canadians on this issue." - James Clancy, National President, NUPGE
Ottawa (14 October 2011) – As finance ministers from the G20 group of nations meet this weekend, the president of one of Canada’s largest labour unions has written to French President Nicolas Sarkozy in support of a global Financial Transaction Tax (FTT), commonly called the Robin Hood Tax.
Sarkozy, who is the chair of the next G20 summit, which will be held Nov. 3-4, 2011, has been trying to build support for an FTT outside of Europe.
In the letter, James Clancy, National President of the 340,000-member National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), says there is strong support in Canada for a global Financial Transaction Tax and he calls on the Canadian government to drop their opposition to the proposal.
“It makes no sense that the Harper government is urging the eurozone to take rapid action on the economic and debt crisis but at the same time is blocking the proposal for a Financial Transaction Tax which is an important part of the solution,” says Clancy.
The FTT would be a tiny tax of 0.05% levied on all financial market transactions – the trade of stocks, bonds, foreign exchange and derivatives. It would discourage the reckless financial speculation that caused the economic crisis in the first place. At the same time, it would generate large sums of money to help address budget deficits and fund quality public services. The FTT would not apply to most consumer transactions.
“The Harper government is not speaking on behalf of most Canadians on this issue,” says Clancy. “There is very strong support in Canada for a global Financial Transaction Tax. The National Union has been joined by other unions and a wide range of civil society organizations in calling for the implementation of such a tax.”
While the finance ministers are meeting in France, activists in communities around the world, including Canada, are preparing for an October 15th launch of occupations that have been inspired by the Occupy Wall Street protest in New York City.
“There is large and growing resentment against the global financial elites and people understand the need for innovative reforms to the banking sector, including the need for a global Financial Transaction Tax,” says Clancy.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE