Agree a bank tax to end poverty – Oxfam tells G20

G20 must seize this moment to make the world a fairer place

A global bank tax to help poor countries survive the economic crisis must be urgently agreed, Oxfam said today ahead of the G20 meeting of finance ministers in Busan, South Korea.

International development agency Oxfam is pressing for a bank tax that will raise a minimum of $200 billion per year globally to help pay for the impact of the crisis on the poorest and for the costs of climate change, and which will raise the same amount for rich countries to spend on domestic priorities.

Oxfam spokesperson Mark Fried said: “This is a once-in-a generation opportunity for the G20 to reshape the global economy in favor of poor people. We can never return to a situation where the greed of the richest takes precedence over the needs of billions. However the G20 chooses to structure the tax, it should bail out not banks, but the world's poorest people.”

“A financial sector tax is the best option to deliver the scale of resources needed to recover from the financial crisis. The G20 must now seize the moment and deliver a tax that will to raise resources to tackle poverty and climate change. Finance ministers meeting this week must agree a roadmap for taxing the financial sector, and close the deal at their upcoming Canada summit.”

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) gave its preliminary report on a financial sector tax to G20 finance ministers in April. The IMF proposal is two taxes to repay the costs of the global economic crisis and to pay crises to come: a levy payable by all financial institutions, and a tax on their profits and pay.

The G8 has broken its promise of $50 billion in aid to poor countries by 2010, and 50,000 more children in Sub-Saharan African countries died last year because of the financial crisis.

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