1,000 economists call for financial tax to support development efforts
In a letter released yesterday, a thousand eminent economists from more than 50 countries called for the establishment of a global Financial Transaction Tax.
Writing to finance ministers from the Group of 20 (G20) countries, representing the world’s leading economies, and to Bill Gates, who has been asked by the G20 to examine innovative ways to fund development and climate change, the economists wrote:
This tax is an idea that has come of age. The financial crisis has shown us the dangers of unregulated finance, and the link between the financial sector and society has been broken. It is time to fix this link and for the financial sector to give something back to society. Even at very low rates of 0.05% or less, this tax could raise hundreds of billions of dollars annually and calm excessive speculation… This money is urgently needed to raise revenue for global and domestic public goods such as health, education and water, and to tackle the challenge of climate change.
Together with advocacy partners from a range of health and development issues, FCI has been working for two years to build support for a tax on financial transactions (widely known in the U.K. as a “Robin Hood Tax“), with proceeds going to fund global health and poverty efforts. While the effort has not yet picked up steam, or attracted government support, in the U.S., there is significant momentum in Europe, where both France (host to this year’s G20 summit) and Germany have expressed strong support for the idea.
- Read about the economists’ statement in the Guardian
- Learn about HR755 – the Investing in our Future Act of 2011, which would impose a 0.005% tax on currency transactions, to fund global health, climate change, and child care programs and reduce the deficit
- Read the Op-Ed by Philippe Douste-Blazy, chair of UNITAID and special advisor on innovative financing to the UN Secretary-General, “A Tiny Tax Could Do a World of Good”
- Check out and share the advocacy videos from the Robin Hood Tax Campaign
- Read the Huffington Post blog by Matthew Kavanagh, HealthGAP, A Tiny Tax for the Big Banks, Huge Change for the World