Robin Hood Tax legislation introduced, could generate billions of dollars to fight climate change
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Friends of the Earth U.S. joined Congressman Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) on Capitol Hill today to support the introduction of the Inclusive Prosperity Act of 2013, which would establish a tax on financial transactions, popularly known as a Robin Hood Tax. The tax would generate hundreds of billions of dollars in revenue annually for critical needs such as healthcare, education, job creation and the international fight against HIV/AIDS and climate change. Erich Pica, president of Friends of the Earth U.S. had the following to say in response to the bill:
“Friends of the Earth U.S. wholeheartedly endorses the Inclusive Prosperity Act and urges its passage into law. By making Wall Street pay its fair share, this legislation would help shore up funding for services that keep people and our communities healthy and whole, both at home and around the world.
“This forward-looking legislation recognizes the enormous human and economic toll that climate change will take in the United States and in developing countries. Like a similar proposal in France, it opens the door for a portion of this extremely promising, untapped revenue source to be used to help the world’s poor confront the climate crisis.
“As the Inclusive Prosperity Act demonstrates, there is not actually a scarcity of public funds for global public goods; it is a question of political will. Trillions of dollars were rapidly made available to pay for wars and Wall Street bailouts, but what about the climate crisis?”
At no more than half-a-penny per transaction, the Robin Hood Tax is a micro-tax on Wall Street trading that would curb harmful speculation and raise hundreds of billions of dollars of new revenue to pay for urgently-needed public goods and services, like helping the poor cope with the threats to public health and food shortages caused by our changing climate. It would apply to financial transactions such as the trading of stocks, bonds, derivatives and other financial instruments — most of which are traded not by people, but by computers in a matter of micro-seconds.
Forty countries have implemented financial transactions taxes, more than one thousand economists have endorsed the FTT and 11 European nations are in the process of implementing a regional FTT.
Momentum for the Robin Hood Tax will continue with a rally and march beginning at noon on Saturday, April 20, sponsored by the Robin Hood Tax Campaign, of which Friends of the Earth U.S. is a member. The rally will start at Murrow Park (adjacent to the International Monetary Fund and World Bank buildings on Pennsylvania Avenue, between 18th and 19th Streets), followed by a march to the White House and U.S. Treasury Department to demand a Robin Hood Tax. For more information, see www.robinhoodtax.org/get-involved.
Karen Orenstein, (202) 640-8679, [email protected]
Friends of the Earth fights to create a more healthy and just world. Our current campaigns focus on promoting clean energy and solutions to climate change, keeping toxic and risky technologies out of the food we eat and products we use, and protecting marine ecosystems and the people who live and work near them.