Thursday, May 26, 2011

Tea Time For Change

Enjoy tea but don't like the anti-tax Tea Party?

Here's an antidote.

Our friends at Action Aid, Christian Aid, Oxfam and other UK-based non-governmental organisations, are organising an opportunity to sit down with Members of Parliament on Thursday 9th June.

And tax justice is high on the agenda of things to discuss, as the following blurb makes clear:

What are we asking for?

Across the globe billions of people live in poverty. Over 1 billion people cannot access clean water and more than 2.5 billion lack basic sanitation. It shouldn’t be this way.

Aid is essential, but by itself, aid will not end poverty. If poor countries are to prosper we also need changes to the rules of the game. We need multinational companies to open up the books on what they pay in poor countries, and to stop avoiding payments through tax havens. We need innovative ways of funding development like financial transaction taxes (the Robin Hood Tax).

The time is right to make these changes. In these ways, the UK can have a huge impact on global poverty.

Stop tax dodging and shine a light on the payments companies make to governments.

This year, there are urgent opportunities for the UK government to press for more corporate transparency through UK legislation, at the European Union, and at the G20 meeting in November. We want to make sure that they seize these chances and enable poor communities to free themselves from poverty by raising funds for development from their own resources.

Champion innovative, effective and fair financing for development

We want to see the UK government championing a Financial Transaction Tax (Robin Hood Tax) at the G20.

Good stuff. And now, help yourself to a biscuit and pass the plate along. . .



Blogger Physiocrat said...

Christian Aid, Oxfam and like bodies could really make a difference if they were arguing for radical tax and finance reform. Unfortunately that is exactly what they do not do.

One might have thought that Christian bodies in particular would start at the obvious places, with scripture and the Social Teaching of the Catholic Church.

Texts such as those in Leviticus eg chapter 25, and in the encyclicals from Rerum Novarum onwards point in clear directions.

Financial transaction taxes do not feature in that scheme of things for the simple reason that they are not based on any sound principle. They can be criticised on the most basic of grounds. What is the definition of a financial transaction? What moral reason can be give as to why such transactions should be singled out for taxation? And there is the practical question of who should levy such taxes and how should the yield be distributed?

The spokesmen and policy makers in these outfits should keep quiet until they have done their homework.

10:41 pm  

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