Jamra primary scholl for children affected by HIV/AIDS, drugs or poverty, Senegal (c) Nell Freeman/Alliance Participants in the Photovioce project, Ecuador © Marcela Nievas for the Alliance
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The time for a Financial Transaction Tax is now!


Aids Alliance

NGOs all across Europe and the world are scaling up their efforts to campaign and advocate for a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) as part of the Robin Hood Tax campaign. This year is pivotal because France holds the G20 Presidency, and being the country most in favour of an FTT, there are strong hopes for concrete progress being made on implementing the tax.

The Alliance is continuously active in the campaign in the UK, as well as in Brussels through the Stop AIDS Alliance partnership. The reason is evident: a 0.05% tax on financial transactions could raise an estimated $700 billion per year to fund national budgets, development and climate change.

This is a significant amount of money at a time when we are seeing slow progress on meeting the commitment to universal access to HIV treatment and care as well as slow progress on reaching the health Millennium Development Goals.

FTT supporters have also realised that it is time to act together in order to increase pressure and gain more leverage. A broad coalition of NGOs, labour unions and social movements has collectively decided upon some common activities and general coordination for 2011.  As a first concrete activity, a Global Day of Action for an FTT will take place on 17 February, right ahead of the G20 Finance Ministers meeting in Paris. The aim of the day is to create a global call for an FTT and to push the G20 to include the FTT on the agenda of its November Summit. Organisations and activists all over the world are encouraged to participate with lobby, media and online activities.

Unfortunately the coalition is still lacking supporters in the Global South, and currently efforts are being made to encourage organisations, communities and activists to contribute to the Global Day in their countries. The Alliance is also working on encouraging its COs and LOs to take part in the proposed activities – to approach their governments and French, German and UK embassies in their countries with letters and online petitions.

Global action is definitely needed. Even though France and partly Germany are supportive of an FTT, many countries remain hesitant. These are for example the US, the UK, as well as emerging economies such as Brazil and India. The Global Day of Action will focus specifically on targeting the G20 countries France, Germany and the UK – to pressure France to stay supportive, Germany to align with France and the UK, as the location of one of the world’s biggest banking districts, to partner with these two. The idea is also to reach out to some countries that are blocking progress among European countries, such as Spain and Sweden. Finally, Southern civil society is being encouraged to mobilise and target their governments in order to really make the FTT a global priority.

Read more about the Robin Hood Tax campaign.