A global day of action will take place on Wednesday June 22. This comes just after a European Union finance ministers meeting on June 15 and just before a European Council meeting on June 23-24. This day of action is also being seen as a key moment before the G20 leaders summit in Cannes, France on November 3-4.
The Council of Canadians has long supported a global tax on banks, often referred to as the Robin Hood Tax. Many of our allies have also been making this demand, including 11.11.11, ATTAC-Quebec, Corporate Europe Observatory, Friends of the Earth Europe, the Seattle to Brussels Network, the Transnational Institute, War on Want, and The Halifax Initiative.
Various media reports over the past year have said that Germany, France, the United Kingdom, and the United States all support some form of a tax on banks that “could be used to bail out the financial system in the event of another crisis.” The International Monetary Fund has also publicly supported a bank levy. But, according to a Canwest News Service report last June, “Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty (have) repeatedly shot down the notion of a bank tax. ‘I have not seen that consensus forming. We are not going to impose a bank tax in Canada,’ Flaherty (has) replied curtly…”
While Harper and Flaherty remain obstinate over the relatively modest measure of a tax on bank liabilities to be used to bail out the financial system in the next economic crisis, there is also a much more ambitious and exciting Robin Hood Tax campaign gaining momentum among non-governmental organizations around the world. This campaign proposes a 0.05 percent financial transactions tax to raise funds to spend on social and anti-poverty needs domestically and Millennium Development Goals and climate change mitigation and adaptation initiatives internationally. For instance, it has been estimated that this Robin Hood Tax would generate $400 billion Cdn a year. A fraction of that amount – some $10-$30 billion a year – could provide clean drinking water to half the 1.1 billion people around the world who need it.
For more information, please see the Make Finance Work website at http://makefinancework.org/home-english/.