As G20 looms, people around the world are backing the Robin Hood Tax, and you can too
Tonight’s G20 Finance Ministers meeting seems to have descended into a row over the EU’s proposed Financial Transactions Tax (FTT) even though it’s not on the agenda. But it will be on the agenda for the G20 summit in Cannes next month, and there is now an increasing clamour for the tax, in countries whose Governments are not yet supporters: like Canada, India, Japan, South Africa and the USA. And now, the online protest community Avaaz, now 10 million supporters strong worldwide, is providing people in Britain with the opportunity to tell the UK Government to back an FTT.
In Canada, public sector trade union economist Toby Sanger (CUPE) has written in the Toronto Star about why the Canadian Government should back an FTT at the G20. And in the USA, Rolling Stone magazine’s Matt Taibbi – the man who first likened Goldman Sachs to a vampire squid – has urged the Occupy Wall Street movement to back an FTT:
“A tax of 0.1 percent on all trades of stocks and bonds and a 0.01 percent tax on all trades of derivatives would generate enough revenue to pay us back for the bailouts, and still have plenty left over to fight the deficits the banks claim to be so worried about. It would also deter the endless chase for instant profits through computerized insider-trading schemes like High Frequency Trading, and force Wall Street to go back to the job it’s supposed to be doing, i.e., making sober investments in job-creating businesses and watching them grow.”
In India, Kavaljit Singh, Director of Public Interest Research Centre, New Delhi argues in a new briefing that the G20 should follow the example set by India itself with its 2004 Securities Transaction Tax, which raises over $1bn a year. And in South Africa, Cambridge University economist Ha-Joon Chang and Oxfam’s Duncan Green have written in Business Day that an FTT could – far from undermining the financial system, could actually save capitalism from itself.
Meanwhile, in Japan, Tsutomu Okubo, who heads a committee in charge of fiscal and monetary issues within the ruling Democratic Party of Japan’s policy council, has called for a tax on foreign exchange to control speculation in the yen.