Education International
Education International

Help secure G-20 support for a financial transactions tax!

published 21 October 2010 updated 21 October 2010

EI is inviting member organisations and all concerned individuals to sign an international civil society statement that will be delivered to G-20 leaders during their summit in Seoul from 11–12 November, 2010.

The joint statement, whose founding signatories include the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) and the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD, is urging G-20 leaders to agree to introduce an internationally co-ordinated financial transactions tax (FTT) at their upcoming summit.

Civil society and trade union representatives have long advocated that such a tax is a practical way to generate vital revenues to fill domestic and international financing gaps. It will also discourage the type of short-term financial speculation that has little social value but poses high risks to many economies. It also serves as a much needed and sustainable source of financing for health, education and development.

The alliance of trade unions and civil society is not alone in advocating the merits of such a tax. Research by the International Monetary Fund, commissioned by the G-20, recognises the technical feasibility of FTT, a report by the ‘Leading Group on Innovative Financing’ has also endorsed a form of FTT. The European Union and UN High-level Advisory Group on Climate Change Financing has also considered FTT and have contributed to building a solid foundation to take the proposal beyond the discussion of options to consideration of its practical implementation.

The joint statement highlights FTTs as ‘one of the only available options that could generate the enormous financial resources required to pay for the continuing costs of the global financial and economic crisis, including reducing the unacceptably high rate of job loss, and to achieve key development, health, education and climate change objectives in developing countries’.

It goes on to state that ‘several hundred billion dollars worth of untapped revenue could be harnessed. This additional financing is required in aid official development assistance in order to meet the Millennium Development Goals’.

The statement concludes by remind the G-20 leaders that ‘At the recent UN Summit on Millennium Development Goals, France’s President Nicolas Sarkozy made a very welcome vow to press for an international agreement on FTT during his term as chair of the G-20 in 2011. There is, however, no reason to delay. We call for G-20 action on this critical issue to begin in Seoul.’

EI encourages everyone to sign up now and send an email, specifying the country you are based in to Amy Gray: [email protected]

To read the full international civil society statement to G-20 leaders, please click here.