CUPE is calling for new taxes on the banking and financial sector as a way to ensure fairer taxation and stronger regulation of the finance sector.
The union’s national executive recently passed a resolution to campaign and lobby for the new taxes, adding its voice to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the United States, the European Union and numerous economists who have endorsed the need for special taxation in this area.
“There are a number of banking and financial tax proposals on the table, including a tax on financial transactions, a financial activities tax, a bank levy and the so-called Robin Hood tax” said CUPE National President Paul Moist.
“One or any combination of these proposals would go a long way towards creating greater economic stability as well as much-needed government revenues.”
Moist says that better taxation of the banking and financial industry would help to create fairness for the billions of taxpayers who financed the banks during the global financial crisis.
“The net direct costs of G20 government support to the financial sector will amount to over $900 billion. Highly profitable banks and financial institutions in Canada are the biggest beneficiaries of recent cuts to corporate income taxes,” said Moist.
“Meanwhile, working people are being forced to pay for the costs of the meltdown through job losses, cuts to public services, and more regressive taxes. A financial tax would not only raise revenue, it would also discourage the kind of speculative financial behavior that landed us in this crisis in the first place – and put the responsibility back on the reckless members of the industry who caused it.”
Moist says the Canadian government should stop putting its efforts into derailing international dialogue on a bank tax.
“This is a chance of a lifetime for countries to work together to create a system of global governance that would insulate working people at home and abroad from the repercussions of another financial crisis. It’s time to call on our government to start playing a leadership role instead of impeding this important dialogue.