Robin Hood asks the G20 to listen to the people, not the banks
The Robin Hood Tax campaign in the UK has joined an unprecedented number of organisations around the world in calling on the G20 this week to make progress on introducing financial transaction taxes to tackle the challenges of public sector cuts, climate change and global poverty. A global letter attracted the support of 183 organisations from 42 countries around the world (at the time of submission – more have since endorsed it). That’s three times the number who wrote to the IMF this time last year urging a proper consideration of the idea: a measure of how far support for a Robin Hood Tax has grown.
In Britain, the Robin Hood Tax campaign submitted the letter to David Cameron before he set off for Seoul. It was signed by 33 UK organisations including the following unions: Community, EIS, NASUWT, NGSU, NUJ, NUT, UCU, UNISON and USDAW, as well as the TUC. Other national trade union centres signing the letter included the AFL-CIO from the USA, Rengo from Japan, HMS and INTUC from India, the Australians, Belgians, Italian, Mexican, New Zealand, Russian, Spanish, Ukrainians as well as the International Trade Union Confederation, BWI, EI, IMF, IUF, PSI and TUAC. Global champions for the campaign included:
Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), who said: “Tens of millions of people around the world are suffering from a global crisis they didn’t cause, and the rich bankers, who certainly did, aren’t paying their fair share.”
Sylvia Borren, co-chair of the Global Call to Action against Poverty (GCAP), who said: “The G20 saved the banks, but not the millions of jobless, starving women. An FTT could pay for the millennium goals and support green economies. “
Martin Drewry, Director of Health Poverty Action said: “A tiny tax on bankers, still paying themselves huge bonuses, would make a life-or-death difference to pregnant women and millions of others around the world who lack basic healthcare.”
Kailash Satyarthi, Global Campaign for Education board member said: “Korea became a world economic power by investing in education. An FTT would raise vital resources for human development and education to drive growth and recovery.”
Kumi Naidoo, International Executive Director of Greenpeace International, said: “The G20 must agree innovative sources of finance to deliver its commitment to provide at least $100 billion a year by 2020 for climate action in developing countries.”
The letter recognised recent progress, including supportive research from the International Monetary Fund, the launch at the UN Millennium Development Goals summit of a positive expert report to the Leading Group on Innovative Financing for Development (which brings together 60 national governments), and support from the High Level Advisory Group of the UN Secretary General on Climate Change Financing (AGF) on Friday last week. An FTT is also under active consideration by the European Union.