Monday, November 08, 2010

International alliance urges Robin Hood tax on G20 leaders

When those nice people at Oxfam sent me off to New York a few weeks ago I managed to remain a good Liberal in what I wrote. In fact, as I learned more development issues I found that principles like political reform and a free press were immensely important in this field.

The only time I forgot myself was when I posted a Richard Curtis video.

That video made the case for a financial transaction tax, better known as the Robin Hood tax. With world leaders about to meet in Seoul for the G20 summit, an alliance of 183 organisations from 42 countries has written to them, urging them to bring in such a tax:
The letter, addressed to G20 leaders including Prime Minister David Cameron and US President Barack Obama, is signed by development, health, education and environmental charities and unions from 16 of the G20 countries.

It says that a financial transaction tax would help meet the costs "of the global financial and economic crisis, including reducing the unacceptably high rate of job loss, and achieve key development, health, education and climate change objectives in developing countries".
There are still many to be answered about this tax - Is it meant simply to raise money or curb the banks' more speculative activities? What will the proceeds be spent on? Will it be the banks who pay or their customers? - but I continue to find it an appealing idea.


Lavengro in Spain said...

I personally have no view on this matter but I urge you to read a post from a very intelligent and knowledgeable man who is involved at a high level with aid in Ethiopia.

Ian said...

I think that Barder raises some interesting objections. Personally,I thik that the tax could be implemented so that it mainly does get paid by the banks - after all the government is introducing a bank levy in the UK as we speak (a very soft one) and no one is saying that it will be passed on.

Lavengro in Spain said...

He has posted this today.
I repeat that this is for information. I have no special knowledge of the matter.

Lavengro in Spain said...

Sorry, here's the link.
Owen Barder is the son of Brian Barder, who writes in today's Guardian about the BBC's allegation that aid was diverted to terrorists. Brian was British ambassador in Ethiopia during the famine.