Saturday, November 05, 2011

G20, bill gates, bill nighy, rowan williams and the robin hood tax

French President Nicolas Sarkozy commissioned Bill Gates to produce a Report for this week’s G20 Summit. In the event, Gates has given a boost to supporters of a Robin Hood Tax by telling the summit that such a levy on financial transactions was "clearly technically feasible". He maintains that it was "critical" that a portion of the money raised from any Financial Transaction Tax (FTT) should be used to help the developing world, rather than simply to shore up ailing First World economies. An FTT - which this week won the backing of the Archbishop of Canterbury was one of a range of measures which Mr Gates said could bring the number of the world's poor states down to "zero".
As things stand, Britain and the USA governments are reluctant to sign up to a levy.
Bill Nighy, an ambassador for Oxfam and a strong supporter of the Robin Hood Tax, has also been in Cannes this week (and he was very impressive on BBC Breakfast earlier this week too - I’ve just watched
this recording).
Thursday’s Guardian newspaper included some interesting
comments from Nighy:
"I find increasingly any resistance to the idea harder and harder to swallow. It is mysterious. Resistance is becoming less and less easy. The reasons given are suspicious. There is not only support from serious moral people like Archbishop of Canterbury, and the pope, but there are 1,000 economists in support. Both the IMF and EU have done feasibility studies that are very supportive.
"It is very popular because no one is going to have to pay any more tax directly. The value of the derivatives market is now somewhere between $605 and $620tn [£377 and £387tn] – the world economy is only $60tn – and the $620tn is currently untaxed. The 50 pence tax on every £1,000 is all that is being asked for."

When questioned about the world-wide “Occupy” protesters (against accusations that they were “rebels without a cause”), Nighy responded: "The Robin Hood tax expresses in real terms what they are about. The protests around the world are directly linked to the Robin Hood tax matters and I find it very moving. The dignity restraint and powers of these protests is very impressive."
I’ve just added Bill Nighy to my “Dream Team”/“World Eleven” (these two old blogs of mine refer!).
PS: I’ll post an updated version of my latest “Dream Team”/“World Eleven” in due course!

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