Currency Transaction Tax

Governments Respond

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ACP/EU Assembly

October 2000

Meeting in Brussels, the Parliamentarian Assembly Joint Commission ACP-EU that brings together Parliamentarians of 77 countries from Africa, the Caribbean, and the Pacific, as well as the European Parliament, representing 15 member states, resolve to support the institution of a Tobin-type Tax to finance development programs. In the Resolution on 'ACP-EU Partnership and the Challenges of Globalisation', the Parliamentarians adopted a paragraph calling "on the major industrialised countries and notably on the European Union, to introduce a tax on capital transfers as proposed by Professor Tobin".


March 2001

In a country already on the edge of an abyss of debt, 15 Argentinean Deputies of different political parties submit a bill requiring the institution of a Tobin Tax.


November 2000

The House of Representatives and the Senate of Belgium each adopting a resolution requiring the Belgian Government to take advantage of the opportunity presented by the presidency of the European Union (in the second semester of 2001) to explore the methods of executing a tax on international capital flows to prevent destabilizing speculative movements.  The receipts of this tax could be allocated primarily to the development of poor countries.  These resolutions obliged the Belgian Government, despite the reticence of the Minister of Finance, to put the question on the agenda of the Council of Finance Ministers of the European Union in September 2001.  (See European Union)


August 1999

Le Front parlementaire pour la taxe Tobin est form� avec l'appui de 100 parlementaires. En novembre 1999, le pr�sident Cardoso lui-m�me se prononce en faveur de la taxe Tobin au " Sommet des r�formateurs " devant Bill Clinton, Tony Blair et Lionel Jospin.


March 1999

The Canadian Parliament passes a motion in favour of the Tobin Tax by a two-thirds majority with all party support. Canada becomes the first country in the world to declare its intention to work towards the adoption of a tax to control international currency speculation. The motion is largely symbolic, as it has no legislative obligation, but sparks a global movement in favour of currency transactions taxes.

Private Members Motion M-239: "that in the opinion of the House, the government should enact a tax on financial transactions in concert with the international community."

Canada - Statement in the Canadian House of Commons - A Tribute to James Tobin

March 2002

Hon. Lorne Nystrom (Regina--Qu'Appelle, NDP): Mr. Speaker, today I rise to pay tribute to James Tobin, one of the most influential economists of our time who passed away yesterday at the age of 84. James Tobin won the Nobel prize in economics and belongs to that rare breed of economists who believed that economic policy must serve the common good. Tobin will be remembered for his vision of a tax on international currency transactions, the Tobin tax, which would have helped alleviate the devastating effects of financial speculation. In Canada, James Tobin inspired the passage of Motion No. 239 in support of the Tobin tax, which I had the honour to present to the House. The passage on March 23, 1999 of the Canadian Motion, was a world premiere and sparked a global movement from parliamentarians, NGOs and civil society. The French parliament has recently taken the Canadian motion to a new level by amending the 2002 finance law to institute the Tobin tax, once other countries in the European Union follow in step. Thanks to James Tobin, the world will eventually be a better place for all of us to live in.

European Parliament Passes Motion

February 2006 (EN - 36 KB PDF)

On February 16, 2006, the European Parliament passed a motion on new methods for financing development in the framework of the Millennium Development Goals.

India proposes securities transactions tax

July 2004

On July 8, 2004, Indian Finance Minister, P. Chidambaram, proposed the introduction of Securities Transaction Tax (STT) in the Indian financial markets. Under the proposal, every transaction in securities in the Indian financial markets would attract a turnover tax of 0.15 per cent.

Jacques Chirac - Chairperson Summary

February 2006 (EN - 25 KB PDF)

French President Jacques Chiracs Chairs Summary from the Paris Conference on Innovative Funding for Development. February, 2006

Jacques Chirac Speech to Davos World Economic Forum

January 2005 (EN - 38 KB PDF)

Speaking �live� by satellite on the first day of the Annual Meeting of the World Economic Forum, French President Jacques Chirac called on all developed countries to take action rapidly to meet pledges made two decades ago to devote 0.7% of the value of their annual output or GDP to aid for poorer nations. He also urged them to consider levies on cross-border financial transactions, taxing fuel used in air transport and shipping, and levying a charge of one dollar on every air ticket sold to fund the fight against AIDS.

United Kingdom

February 2002 (EN - 6 KB PDF)

Harry Barnes, Labour MP, tables an �Early Day Motion� on the Tobin Tax with the support of five parties in the House of Commons and over 100 MPs. These motions are not voted upon nor discussed in the House, but provide an indication to the ruling party of the depth and breadth of support for an issue.

The MPs, who include former Foreign Office Minister, John Battle as well as former Conservative Minister Peter Bottomley, point out that Tobin "now enjoys the backing of a number of governments and parliaments across the world, including France, whose parliament recently passed a law authorizing its implementation.

April 2001 (EN - 5 KB PDF)

Harry Barnes, Labour MP, tables an �early day motion� on the Tobin Tax signed by 147 MPs across the political spectrum. Clare Short, Minister of Development, is the first member of the Government to add her support.

United Nations Special Session - Social Summit+5

June 2000 (EN - 9 KB PDF)

The Canadian delegation to the UN Social Summit proposes an amendment to the Summit Declaration mandating a study on the Tobin-type Tax. Intense pressure from the US results in a declaration that does not refer to the Tobin-type tax specifically, though they, and over 160 other governments, agree to study �innovative sources of funding.�

United States

April 2000 (EN - 11 KB PDF)

A concurrent resolution is introduced in both the US House and Senate, "expressing the sense of the Congress that the United States, in concert with the international community, should enact domestic transaction taxes on short-term, cross-border foreign exchange transactions to deter speculation."  The resolution, which includes detailed language explaining the reasons for adoption, is introduced by Representative Peter DeFazio and Senator Paul Wellstone, and is co-sponsored by additional House members Bernie Sanders, Jesse Jackson Jr., Lane Evans, and Marcy Kaptur.  Lacking votes, Rep. DeFazio did not set a hearing on the resolution, but planned to reintroduce the resolution during the 2002 session.

November 1997 (EN - 3 KB PDF)

In response to UN Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali�s Oxford speech in support of global taxes, Senator Jesse Helms proposes and the US Congress passes a bill prohibiting the payment of any US contributions to the UN �if the UN implements or imposes taxation on any United States person�. The law effectively dampens all UN efforts to study, investigate or promote the currency transactions tax for years. Ironically, currency transactions taxes, by their very nature, are national taxes that cannot be imposed on any government that does not want them. The law is virtually unknown in the US and is quietly renewed annually without opposition.


May 2001 (ES - 10 KB PDF)

Presentation of a bill by Senator Jos� Korzeniak requiring that "the Uruguayan state suggests at every level, international, bilateral, regional, continental and at a world level that a tax of between 0.1% to 1% be imposed on financial speculative transactions.�

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