‘Julia Gillard’ takes aim at poverty
Photo Opportunity – Federation Mall, outside Parliament House, Canberra
Wednesday 2 November 2011, 9.30am
“Julia Gillard” – a fibreglass ‘big head’ caricature of the Prime Minister – dressed as Robin Hood and armed with a bow and arrow, will take aim at a ‘poverty’ branded target outside Parliament House in support of a global push for a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT), due to be discussed at the G20 this week (3 & 4 November).
The Australian Robin Hood Tax campaign is calling for Prime Minister Gillard to support the proposal of a FTT (popularly known as a ‘Robin Hood Tax’), a tiny 0.05 per cent tax on certain financial transactions (bonds, shares, derivatives and currency) that could raise billions of dollars a year to fight poverty and climate change.
The Robin Hood Tax Campaign is calling for half of the income generated to be spent on domestic issues like health and education in countries that levy the tax, while the other half would be spent on climate change adaptation and overcoming poverty in poor countries around the world.
Oxfam Australia Director of Policy James Ensor said the issue of a FTT was gathering momentum across Europe among politicians from across the political spectrum, and had gained the support of the governments of emerging powers such as South Africa and Argentina.
Institutions as diverse as the Gates Foundation and the IMF, as well as more than 1000 economists, including Nobel Laureates like Paul Krugman, have seen the benefit of a FTT, and 500,000 ordinary people across the world recently signed a petition in support of this tax.
“The tax would not affect consumers at the ATM. It is designed to affect investment banks that deal in bonds, shares and currency transactions that occur on international markets,” Mr Ensor said.
“With developing country budgets under strain and the Green Climate Fund – the fund which nations agreed to establish to fight climate change – standing empty, the need for innovative sources of finance has never been greater.”
The stunt is organised by the Australian Robin Hood Tax campaign, part of an international movement campaigning for a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT). The Australian campaign is a broad alliance of more than 20 Australian charities, aid agencies, labour, environmental and faith groups, including Jubilee, Oxfam, World Vision and Catalyst Australia, as well as leading academics, policy experts, economists and writers.