Education International
Education International

Unions call for implementation of global Financial Transaction Tax

published 19 May 2010 updated 19 May 2010

Ahead of the informal meeting of the vice Finance Ministers and deputy Central Bankers of the Group of 20 nations convening today in Berlin, trade unionists and other activists around the world launched the "Make Finance Pay Week" on Monday calling for the implementation of a global tax on financial transaction.

The Financial Transaction Tax or "Robin Hood Tax" Also known as the Robin Hood Tax, the Financial Transaction Tax will be levied on all transactions in the global financial system, such as foreign exchange, derivatives trading and share deals. It can be as little as 0.005 percent, but it already has the potential to raise hundreds of billions of dollars every year. Coalitions from the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Germany, France and Australia are coming together this week to campaign for the introduction of the tax. Campaigners say this money should be used to prevent cuts in public spending, tackle poverty at home and abroad, and help fight climate change by enabling developing economies to adapt to the effects of global warming. Owen Tudor, Head of European Union and International Relations at the Trade Union Congress in the UK said: “ Make Finance Pay Week shows that the Robin Hood Tax campaign is now a global phenomenon, with events taking place in at least seven countries on three continents this week. “We hope that many more people will join the hundreds of thousands of people across the globe who are urging their political leaders to hold banks accountable for the economic crisis they created. “It’s time for the G20 heads of state to listen and agree a Robin Hood Tax to prevent large-scale cuts in public spending, meet their obligations to developing countries hurt as a result of the global recession, and raise the billions of dollars necessary to protect people from climate change.” Please sign the Global Petition and take part in the events this week! EI strongly encourages all members to sign the global petition for the tax. Directed at the G20 heads of state and entitled "Make Finance Work", it aims to show G20 leaders the wide support for a Robin Hood Tax. Part from the petition, campaign events are taking place around the world:

  • United States: US unions and community-based economic justice groups, led by the National People's Action, are taking part in demonstrations in Washington DC targeted at Wall Street. On 17 May, more than 2000 trade unionists from 20 states descendedon K Street to "lobby the lobbyists" to take part in the campaign.
  • England: Robin Hood Tax campaigners are gathering at Queen’s Walk, across the river from the Houses of Parliament on Wednesday 19 May at 10:30am to welcome the new Parliament and urge new MPs to make a Robin Hood Tax on banks one of their top legislative priorities. Dressed as Robin Hood, campaigners will march from College Green across Westminster Bridge down to Queen’s Walk, holding giant mosaics of pictures of campaign supporters.
  • Scotland: Robin Hood, Maid Marion, Friar Tuck and their merry men will ride down Buchanan Street in Glasgow on Wednesday May 19 at 10:30am, throwing Fairtrade chocolate coins to passers-by, urging them to support the Robin Hood Tax and 'be part of the world's greatest bank job'.
  • Germany: Activists from the German Robin Hood Tax campaign ("Die Robin Hood Steuer Kampagne") will perform a stunt at Pariser Platz in front of the Brandenburger Tor in Berlin aimed at the heads of state and finance ministers taking in part in the G20 informal finance meeting in the city this week. The stunt will see campaigners dressed as Robin Hood and merry people attacking a bankers’ carriage loaded with big bags of money. A few activists playing Robin Hood will board the carriage and start to reload small bags with money from the big ones. Each small bag will subsequently go into a bucket labelled Fight poverty, finance development and protect the climate.
  • Canada: Led by Oxfam Canada, campaigners will be calling the country’s government to support the Robin Hood Tax, with events taking place in major cities, including Toronto, Vancouver, Halifax, Saskatoon, Ottawa and St. John’s. The events are taking place on Wednesday 19 May.
  • Australia: The Australian Robin Hood Tax coalition will be undertaking a film/photo stunt with campaigners dressed as Robin Hood shooting arrows at a campaign target. The event takes place in the Central Business District, Sydney on Thursday 20 May at 1:00pm.
  • France: The Robin Hood Tax campaign officially launched the petition Make Finance Work on Tuesday 18 May. To sign the petition or take part in the events, please click on the links below.

Is your education union involved in the Make Finance Work campaign? If so, please let us know by sending us an email at: harold.tor@ei-ie.org