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Wednesday, 11 February 2015
Page: 531

Senator LAMBIE (Tasmania) (18:53): If Australia is to undo the damage, chaos, division and dysfunction that this government—and, let's be honest, the one before it—has caused to our economy and society, everyone knows that, while we need to readjust our spending priorities, we also need to reform our tax system. The disagreement between senators in this chamber is not about whether we legislate for tax reform, but how we legislate for tax reform. During my appearance on ABC TV's Q&A, I asked why Australia's major political parties were not considering a financial transactions tax. Both coalition and Labor politicians refused to debate the merits or otherwise of a financial transactions tax, and this only makes me fight harder and confirms that I am on the right path.

According to Parliamentary Library research:

In the aftermath of the global financial crisis the idea of applying a general FTT has been the subject of considerable debate.

In August 2009, Lord Turner, chair of the UK Financial Services Authority, canvassed the possibility of imposing a FTT on all financial transactions to promote an efficient financial sector, particularly more stable financial markets!

A general financial transactions tax has come to be seen as a way of reducing financial market volatility and excessive speculation in these markets as a safeguard against future financial crises.

The report continues:

Financial markets have massively expanded over the last few decades and it is argued a general FTT, even when applied at a relatively low rate, would raise substantial amounts of revenue.

It has been suggested that if a general FTT was applied globally the revenue raised could be used to fund a range of global public goods such as reducing poverty and combatting climate change.

If the rest of the world is debating an FTT, then why isn't Australia? (Time expired)