France the first country in the European Union to introduce a Robin Hood Tax on financial transactions.
Paris (1 Aug. 2012) - Today France implemented a tax on financial transactions - commonly referred to as the Robin Hood Tax.
The tax was initially championed by former French President Nicolas Sarkozy and the country's new President, Francois Hollande, who has also adopted the proposal.
Hollande, who has been highly critical of the financial services industry, introduced a 0.2% tax to apply to all publicly traded businesses with a market value over 1bn euros.
Hollande, speaking at an international AIDS conference in June, said the money raised will be partially used to fund AIDS research and is expected to generate 170m euros in 2012 and 500m euros by next year.
“In a context which I know to be difficult economically and financially, the commitment of the governments and donors is essential”, he told the delegates.
Advocates for the tax also point out that this tax is more than just about income generation. It is also intended to curb market speculation and it is hoped to be implemented across Europe.
It is expected that France is just the first in what will be a growing number of countries adopting the tax. Activists for the tax argue that as more and more countries come on side the opposition of a handful of countries, including Canada, will be harder to sustain.
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