South African health minister backs Robin Hood Tax
South Africa has been notably quiet about the campaign for financial transaction taxes, but in Le Monde on Tuesday, 9 November, Health Minister Aaron Motsoaledi welcomed the idea, especially a levy on currency exchange (taxing just one element of financial transactions) of 0.005% to fund global work on HIV/AIDS. This was the proposal made at the September UN summit by the expert group to the Leading Group on Innovative Financing for Development (backed by 60-odd countries including the UK). But Mostoaledi went further, welcoming:
a small tax on transactions in the financial sector, clogged and overheated. This would have the dual benefit of reducing the irresponsible behavior that contributed to the economic crisis, while raising billions of dollars in new resources to invest in key priorities, nationally and internationally, including the fight against the disease.
The article welcomes the fact that the next chair of the G20, Nicholas Sarkozy, is proposing this – about time too, is the tenor of Motsoaledi’s article. More evidence that this week’s G20 will be all about “Waiting for Sarko“.
NB, the quote above is a translation of the following text in French: “une minuscule taxe sur les transactions dans le secteur financier, engorgé et surchauffé. Cela aurait le double bénéfice de réduire les comportements irresponsables qui ont contribué à la crise économique, tout en levant des milliards de dollars en nouvelles ressources pour investir dans des priorités clés, au niveau national et international, dont la lutte contre la maladie.” Apologies for not presuming fluent French from Touchstone blog readers, but then, the original article was in English anyway, appearing in Le Monde in translation.