RESULTS UK has joined with Stamp Out Poverty, the International HIV/AIDS Alliance and more than 100 other health and development organisations in urging world leaders to institute a Currency Transaction Levy (CTL) to meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goals for Health.
“The current financial crisis is having a significant impact on the health of the poorest and most vulnerable and is threatening to reverse progress made to date,” said Aaron Oxley, Executive Director of RESULTS UK, “Even if rich countries fulfilled their existing commitments, there would still be insufficient resources to meet the health MDGs by 2015. There is an urgent need to explore innovative options to ensure we can successfully reduce child mortality, improve maternal health and combat AIDS, TB and malaria.”
RESULTS UK, a member of the Stamp Out Poverty Coalition, has for many years been supporting the call for a Currency Transaction Levy to raise money for development. It recently signed the Coalition’s “Declaration of the Global Campaign for a Currency Transaction Levy for Health” in support a tax of 0.005 per cent on exchanges between the four major currencies: the US Dollar, the Yen, the Euro, and the British Pound.
Such a tax has the potential to raise as much as $33 billion a year in development aid and has recently been endorsed by Lord Turner, Chair of the Financial Services Authority. Studies have shown that because it’s so small, the effect of this tax on the international economy would be negligible. And since the foreign exchange market is completely electronic, implementing such a tax would be relatively simple.
“Taking pennies off million dollar currency conversions will not impoverish the traders,” continued Dr. Bobby John, President of Global Health Advocates, India, “These pennies represent the single biggest new source of life saving and life improving development funding.”
“A Currency Transaction Levy is precisely the kind of bold policy idea that is needed to fulfill our moral obligation to the world’s poorest. We need to make sure that the developing world has the tools it needs to lift up its citizens from poverty. The CTL is an effective way to of doing just that without putting undue strain on the world economy. Leaders of the G20 need to seize this opportunity to get us back on the road to meeting the Millennium Development Goals by 2015.”
For more information on the Declaration of the Global Campaign for a Currency Transaction Levy for Health, visit www.stampoutpoverty.org.