Most Canadians would be surprised to learn that economists from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) annually visit Canada to dispense advice. We tend to think of the IMF as an institution that prescribes strong medicine, known as Structural Adjustment Programs (SAPs), only to less developed countries. In fact our governments regularly follow the same bitter prescriptions.
In early February, Peter Gillespie of the Halifax Initiative testified before Canada's Parliamentary Finance Committee on the role of tax havens in facilitating massive financial losses to developing countries.
In spite of Canada's attempt to bury it at the Toronto G20 meeting, a tax on financial transactions is back on the global agenda and gaining momentum.
French President Nicolas Sarkozy has pledged to use his term as chair of the G20 to reform the global financial system and curb the speculation that contributed to the economic crisis. At the top of his agenda is an international financial transactions tax (FTT) to fund the fight against poverty and climate change.
To sign on to this letter, send the name of the organization and country in which it is based by 5PM Washington DC time on November 3rd to Amy Gray: firstname.lastname@example.org
International Civil Society Statement to the G-20 Leaders Summit in Seoul
We, the undersigned civil society organizations from 32 countries, urge G-20 leaders to make concrete progress towards the introduction of an internationally coordinated financial transactions tax (FTT) at the upcoming summit in Seoul.
G8-G20 summits fall flat, ignore call for sustainable future
This month “Fortress Toronto”, with its 18,000 strong security forces and four kilometer chain link fence, bore witness to a Peoples’ Summit ripe with ideas and alternatives, petitions signed by 1.75 million asking leaders to invest in the future now, a 25,000 strong peaceful protest, media stunts galore, some regrettable violence, and two deeply disappointing summits.
This past weekend, Canadian Finance Minister Jim Flaherty managed to rally China, Brazil and South Korea behind him at G20 meetings in Busan, South Korea, and put those pesky discussions about a global bank tax to rest.
Instead of discussing a bank tax at this month's summit, the G20 agreed to "develop principles reflecting the need to protect taxpayers, reduce risks from the financial system, protect the flow of credit in good times and bad, taking into account individual country's circumstances and options."