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A just tax

justtax 01

The Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice has joined with Trócaire and Social Justice Ireland in calling on the Irish government to opt into the scheme to introduce taxes on the value of financial derivative contracts and any trade in shares or bonds. This tax on the financial sector would, they say, allow it “to shoulder a tiny fraction of the burden it has created.”

In a letter to The Irish Times jointly signed by John Guiney SJ, Director of the JCFJ, Justin Kilcullen, Executive Director of Trócaire, and Dr Seán Healy, Director of Social Justice Ireland, they said it would be in the interest of the Government to apply the tax at a time when it is cutting social services, reducing overseas aid and increasing taxes on ordinary citizens.

It is estimated that the tax will raise around twenty billion euro and the representatives of the three Catholic social justice groups said it presented “a unique opportunity to combat social spending cuts and at the same time finance global priorities like the fight against hunger and climate change”.

Concerned that the government was planning to opt out of imposing the tax which eleven EU member states including its three larges economies have indicated they will impose, they said that “scaremongering from financial sector lobbyists predicting a flight of capital should Ireland introduce the tax, should be seen as just that”. They said any decision to opt out of imposing the FTT would be most disappointing.