Oxfam statement on President Sarkozy’s address to Davos, January 26, 2011

Published: 27th January 2011

“Today President Sarkozy signaled that a number of ‘lead’ countries could forge ahead this year with a tiny levy on financial transactions – a Robin Hood tax – and that he is confident others will follow. Oxfam agrees with President Sarkozy that such a tax could make a massive difference in the fight against poverty and climate change. This idea is now fixed on the political agenda and opponents of it need to get with the program – there is no better alternative for doing what’s right,” said Oxfam GB executive director Barbara Stocking from Davos.

“Sarkozy appreciates that 2011 is the year that the G20 must finally realize its huge potential and change the bad policies and practises that have contributed to global recession, uncertainty for poor producers, increased hunger and now again to food riots and insecurity in some countries,” Stocking said.

“Sarkozy’s determination that the G20 should tackle commodity price volatility – most particularly in food but also in energy – is very welcome and not before time,” Stocking said. “But averting a global food crisis will take more than just trying to stabilize prices. There are other profound underlying causes facing millions of small-scale farmers and poor consumers. The G20 must think big and act fast.”

“Big business always say they need political certainty. Today Sarkozy gave them the certainty that the G20 is committed to properly regulate markets to ensure both growth and stability. Oxfam believes the G20 can make a fundamental difference to global poverty and inequality if the blueprint put forward by Sarkozy is embraced and supported by those with the power to make it happen,” Stocking said.

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