Innovative financing for the future – the Financial Transaction Tax

The Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) has been hailed as the next step in innovative financing. Civil society advocates see it as a way of supplementing traditional aid for development and have dubbed it "the Robin Hood tax." 

Meanwhile, governments see it both as a poverty reduction tool and a pdb ftt-image2014way to curb some of the excesses that led to the financial crisis.

As support for an FTT grew in 2011 – largely from a number of G20 countries – UNITAID commissioned 99 Partners, a financial consultancy firm, to assess the feasibility of such a tax.

The study recommends implementing an FTT similar to the UK Stamp Duty and applying it to bonds and derivatives transactions. At low rates, the report estimates such a tax can generate around US$ 30 billion annually if implemented in the European Union. After analysing other successful experiences with FTTs, the report found that the introduction of such a tax on a national basis should have no significant negative impact on national financial markets.

For supporters of the FTT, UNITAID is seen as a success story in innovative financing and proof that "painless" contributions can help save lives. For this reason, UNITAID and its leadership have taken the lead in the global conversation about an FTT. Read the report