International

While the federal Government is threatening to raise the GST and embarking on the privatisation of public health services, G20 leaders are meeting in Brisbane. They are all saying the same thing: the path to growth is austerity and privatisation – but these are actually the ingredients for further inequality in our society.
Amid the media accounts of the worst Ebola outbreak ever recorded some significant context is largely missing from the major media reporting. Atop this list are links of the outbreak to the climate crisis and global inequality, mal-distribution of wealth, and austerity-driven cuts in public services that have greatly contributed to the rapid spread of Ebola.

This country, despite all its wealth, has come to share a condition from which most of the world suffers:  Growing divide between rich and poor. A Robin Hood Tax can help jump start a real recovery to create a real economy.  

The Robin Hood principle was given a voice at the climate change conference when a group from various nations dressed as the legendary English rebel. He challenged the rich to help the poor and the modern day version is a Robin Hood tax to be levied on financial transactions to raise money for social causes.

The lookalikes, representing a range of environmental and youth groups, displayed signs and banners at COP18/CMP8 proclaiming: "Robin Hood Tax, a global solution".

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December 1st is Worlds Aids Day. And those working on HIV/AIDS have an amazing story to tell the world: we can end the AIDS crisis. Breakthroughs in science have shown us that getting AIDS drugs to those with HIV not only keeps them alive and healthy, but can reduce risk of infection by 96%.  This news is amazing - from now on, no one needs to die of AIDS - no one needs to become HIV positive.

People representing 329 unions from 123 countries rallied today in the streets of Durban, South Africa for the Robin Hood Tax.  The union leaders, representing 20 million workers, were in Durban attending the 29th World Congress of the Public Services International (PSI), the global union federation.

The delegates marched and danced through the streets, donning Robin Hood caps to show support for a tax on financial trades that could raise hundreds of billions for communities in need.

Over 1,000 people attending the Public Services International World Congress in Durban, South Africa will don bright green Robin Hood hats in support of the global campaign to implement financial transactions taxes in countries around the world.

(Photo credit to AP973)

In a major win for nations committed to blunting austerity and to raising revenue, 11 European nations – two more than the nine minimum needed to form an official European Union agreement – agreed in principle today to press for enactment of a sales tax on financial speculation.  An EU parliamentary vote is forthcoming on the measure many see as a critical breakthrough in turning around ailing economies and getting resources to communities in need.
 

The story of how the financial crisis unfolded has been more dramatic than any Hollywood script. Unfettered by regulation, the financial alchemists of Wall Street lost touch with reality, creating an economic leviathan they could no longer control.

It tore through America, ripping chunks from our economy, triggering the biggest recession of a generation, forcing thousands from their homes, leaving families to choose between turning on the heating or putting the next meal on the table.

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