14 April 2007

Thinking outside the box...

A few years back France and Brazil got together in support of Lula's proposal to tax international arms sales and create a fund to eradicate world hunger. Sounds like a winning combo to me.

They made some headway getting this and the Tobin Tax among others onto the UN agenda:

Despite strong reservations by the United States, Japan and Germany over proposed new global taxes, the United Nations is set to take centre-stage in the longstanding controversy over new sources of innovative funding for the world's poorer nations.

''The debate has already entered the United Nations,'' says U.N. Under-Secretary-General Jose Antonio Ocampo, head of the department of economic and social affairs (DESA). ''We have been requested to prepare a study, the results of which will be presented to the General Assembly (in September) this year,'' he told IPS.

The proposals on the table include a carbon tax on fuel use, the 'Tobin tax' on currency transactions, a levy on international sales of weapons, a global lottery and a tax on international airline travel.

Of course there was the predictable reaction from the US right: "The world community needs to understand that the United States and its citizens view any proposal for global taxation as an unacceptable attack on our sovereignty."

Nevertheless it looks like some initial steps have been taken:

RECIFE, Brazil, Apr 25 (IPS) - Chile and France will begin in July to charge a special tax in airports which will go towards the purchase of medicines for poor countries afflicted by HIV/AIDS, malaria and tuberculosis.

It's a start...

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