War on Want calls for charities to support Tobin tax

Development charity renews campaign after Gordon Brown proposes tax at G20 meeting

Development charity War on Want has called for third sector campaigners to support Prime Minister Gordon Brown's call for taxes on global financial transactions, which he said could generate more than £400bn for charities worldwide.

Brown proposed a worldwide Tobin tax – named after the economist who came up with the idea – on currency exchange, designed to limit the effects of speculation, at a meeting of G20 finance ministers at the weekend.

John Hilary, executive director of War on Want, said the tax had several potential benefits for development and environment charities.

"The tax wouldl help developing economies and the revenue would go into supporting our objectives, possibly to charities themselves," he said. "Something like this would be far more effective than more aid."

War on Want and several other charities have been campaigning for the tax to be introduced for 10 years, but renewed their efforts recently during the global financial crisis.

 "The trillion-dollar bailouts provided to the banks have plunged our national economies into long-term debt," said Hilary.

"The billions that could be raised by a financial transactions tax would offer a means for us to recoup those losses and to direct funding towards front-line public services, anti-poverty programmes or adaptation to climate change."


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