Friday, 4 November 2011

G20 ignores Robin Hood

Essentially the G20 ignored the Robin Hood Tax. Their final communiqué said:

82. We agree that, over time, new sources of funding need to be found to address development needs. We discussed a set of options for innovative financing highlighted by Mr Bill Gates, such as Advance Market Commitments, Diaspora Bonds, taxation regime for bunker fuels, tobacco taxes, and a range of different financial taxes. Some of us have implemented or are prepared to explore some of these options. We acknowledge the initiatives in some of our countries to tax the financial sector for various purposes, including a financial transaction tax, inter alia to support development.

I think the only coherent interpretation of this is “Do your own thing if you want”. The UK is doing its own thing. Meeting its Millennium Development Goal commitment to spend 0.7% of GNI on development aid by putting aside revenue from existing taxes. It would be great if the rest of the world would dig into their own pockets, as we are quite rightly, and not try to pick our pocket.

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