G7 finance ministers meeting in Canada this weekend must agree to a Financial Transaction Tax to leverage billions needed to help poor nations deal with the impact of the global economic crisis, international agency Oxfam International said today.
The G7 ministers and central bankers who are meeting in Iqaluit must also ensure that devastated Haiti is not left saddled with crippling debts as it recovers from the recent earthquake.
Oxfam is asking G7 finance ministers to:
- Adopt a Financial Transaction Tax to raise resources to tackle poverty and climate change;
- Agree that all new financial assistance to Haiti be given as grants, not loans; and to cancel Haiti’s existing debt immediately;
- Agree an emergency recovery plan for development aid.
Emma Seery, Oxfam campaign manager said: “The G7 must agree to a tax on financial transactions of large banks. Even at a small rate of around 0.05% this would raise billions annually at no cost to ordinary taxpayers. This is the only way that G7 countries will raise the massive resources needed to pay down their deficits and at the same time meet the Millennium Development Goal of halving global poverty by 2015.”
On Haiti, Seery said: “The international community has acted rapidly and generously to provide for Haiti’s immediate emergency needs. The G7 must now also make sure that Haiti is not left saddled with crippling debts as it recovers and rebuilds. They must agree to all new financial support being in the form of grants, not loans, and commit to a clear plan to cancel what remains of Haiti’s debt.”
On development aid, Seery said: “It is now time to honor the promise made by the G8 in 2005 to increase development aid by $50 billion. On current trends this commitment will be missed by $30 billion, a terrible breach of faith. The G7 must take emergency action to meet their aid promise in 2010.”
Take action: Email the IMF to get them to Drop the Haiti Debt
Read the blog: 2010: no flying cars but an opportunity to get the Millennium Development Goals back on track
Stay informed: Latest Oxfam Haiti response efforts