G20 fails to grasp nettle on financial transaction tax

By staff writers
26 Oct 2010

Development agencies and economists have expressed disappointment that the latest meeting of the G20 has not made progress on a financial transaction tax to assist those at the sharp end of the global economic crunch.

Commenting on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) meeting, Max Lawson, Oxfam's senior policy adviser, said: “It is good that Europe has given up two seats on the IMF board to make the fund more representative of the world as it is in the 21st Century. But Europe remains over represented and the US has retained its veto."

He added: “The increase in the share of the IMF quota for emerging markets is welcome, but it must come from rich countries and not be at the expense of other developing nations.”

Lawson went on: “It is disappointing that the G20 missed the opportunity to introduce a tax on the financial sector to help poor countries hit by the economic crisis.”

Other aid agencies have made similar responses.

"A tax on the financial sector has the power to raise hundreds of billions every year globally," says the Robin Hood Tax campaign, an alliance of NGOs and unions which has picked up the Tobin tax idea.

The IMF has favoured a watered-down version of the plan, but big business has spent millions of pounds lobbying against it - even though it would be a universal micro-tax which would not give any one actor competitive advantage, and would be a tiny some at the point of delivery.

Along with other faith and secular groups, Ekklesia is a sponsor of the Robin Hood Tax initiative. http://robinhoodtax.org.uk/

[Ekk/3]

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