A desperate and largely unknown humanitarian crisis is deteriorating in the Lake Chad Basin region of West Africa, forcing millions of people to flee their homes and leaving millions more in need of humanitarian assistance. Oxfam is providing life-saving support but help is urgently needed to prevent the crisis turning into a catastrophe.
International development agency Oxfam has published a spoof edition of the Financial Times to call on EU leaders meeting in Brussels today to give the green light to the European Commission’s proposal for a Financial Transaction Tax, as part of their efforts to resolve the Euro crisis.
The European summit is the best chance the EU has to agree a settlement which protects the euro, calms markets and sets the parameters for a more just financial system based on sustainable growth.
Sony Kapoor, economist and Director of Re-Define, said: “Stabilizing Greek debt and recapitalizing the banks are clearly a matter of urgency. But EU leaders must not miss this chance to remodel Europe’s financial system into one that is also fair and sustainable. An EU Financial Transaction Tax would be a huge step in the right direction”.
In September the European Commission proposed a levy of 0.1% on trading of shares and bonds and of 0.01% on derivatives which could raise €57bn a year - a fraction of the €4.6 trillion banks have received from taxpayers over the last three years. Even though Oxfam strongly welcomes the EC initiative, the proposed rates are too low and it's clear that higher rates are perfectly feasible and would raise more money to tackle poverty. For example the UK applies a of 0.5% Stamp Duty om equities. A broad based FTT at a rate of 0.05% could raise €210 bn in the EU only.
At present, the EC proposals suggest that the revenue raised could go to the EU budget or national budgets, and makes no commitment as to what the revenues could be spent on.
Nicolas Mombrial, Oxfam’s EU spokesperson, said: "An FTT is both fair and feasible but EU leaders must support this tax and show us they are on the side of the poor and the needy, not the banks and the greedy."
The outcome of the EU leaders’ summit will form the basis for the EU’s position at the G20 leaders’ meeting in Cannes on 3-4 November.
Notes to editors
Sony Kapoor is an economist and Director of Re-Define, a global think tank which advises governments on how best to reform the international financial system - www.re-define.org
Today in the streets of Brussels, get a copy of the (not the) ‘Financial Times’ http://robinhoodtax.org/sites/default/files/FTTdoesFT.pdf
You can download photos of the ‘EU family photo’ with Robin Hood and green-masked EU leaders at http://www.flickr.com/photos/robinhoodtax/sets/72157627953732370/
To arrange interviews with Sony Kapoor, economist and Director of Re-Define, or Oxfam spokespeople, please contact Angela Corbalan on + 32 473 56 22 60 or email@example.com