From the TUC

Robin Hood tax can bridge the post-Gleneagles overseas aid gap

17 Feb 2010, by in International

Today the OECD published its annual statement of how much each country’s government gives in overseas aid, and the big news is that the pledges made at the Gleneagles G8 summit in 2005 are not being met – to the tune of at least $22 billion a year. The Robin Hood Tax could bridge the gap and then some, so there is still time to produce enough overseas aid to meet the Millennium Development Goals that are due to be achieved by 2015.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown is right to note that progress has been made (Britain for one is keeping its Gleneagles pledge), and that campaigners have something to be proud of. But we must go further and, as he also notes, we need a Financial Transactions Tax to plug the shortfall (a global tax could deliver $100 billion a year for international development which would more than meet the shortfall on the $50 billion a year promised at Gleneagles  – but then, that wasn’t enough anyway.)

Gordon Brown’s article says:

There is no way that all of this would have happened without the Make Poverty History campaign and the landmark Gleneagles summit. Those involved should rightly feel proud of their contribution and the real changes this has made possible.

But let us be equally clear that the $50 billion agreement made at Gleneagles has not been met.

So where next? Do we accept that the international community cannot keep its promises and give up? Or do we seize the progress that has been made and push for more in the future? We act.

For this government there will be no giving up. 2010 is going to be a watershed year for the Millennium Development Goals and the UK is pushing hard for a Global Poverty summit in New York this year, to set out an action plan for the next five years to get us into a position to achieve the Millennium Development Goals. We will also work with the EU and the Canadian G8 Presidency to put in place a new system of accountability to make it much harder for countries to break their promises in the future. And we will work to find new innovative sources of sustainable finance for future development.