Eleven of Europe’s biggest economies have signed up to create a tax that will divert a portion of money from large companies to good causes

Earlier this year France implemented a financial transaction tax (FTT), otherwise known as a Robin Hood Tax, and now Germany, Spain, Italy, Austria, Belgium, Portugal, Greece, Slovenia, Slovakia and Estonia have followed suit. Robin Hood Tax campaigners consider this a significant achievement after just three years of campaigning.

FTTs work by taxing large companies on financial transactions, and using the money to benefit wider society. For example, the French government has applied a 0.2% tax on financial transactions made by companies worth over €1bn and intends to use the money to help fight global poverty and promote HIV awareness.

“It’s a much-needed alternative to austerity and can help raise tens of billions of pounds a year to help those living in poverty,” said a spokesperson for the Robin Hood Tax campaign.

The UK has not supported the tax, but campaigners aim to keep up the pressure on the government. “Britain’s refusal to back the tax has left them very much out in the cold as Europe moves to make banks pay their fair share,” said the spokesperson. “The good news is this supergroup of European countries proves what we knew: this tax is a great idea, it can be implemented and it doesn’t need to be global to work.”