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.

Thanks to the UN Human Rights media team for this release.

G-8 / EU: “A global financial transaction tax, a human rights imperative now more than ever”


Archbishop Desmond Tutu is the latest global figure to come out in support of the Robin Hood Tax campaign.

Writing in Saturday’s Guardian, he urged G20 leaders to get behind Sarkozy and ‘introduce a tax on financial transactions to help low-income countries hit by the economic crisis and to protect poor people from climate change’.

He said that a failure to reach global agreement should not be an excuse for leaders not to implement the tax, and argued that ‘instead willing countries should press ahead with their own tax.’

G20 leaders are meeting in Seoul and sorting out the financial sector is on the agenda. The Robin Hood Tax campaign is part of a global movement representing over 200 million people calling on leaders to listen to their people rather than the banks, and tax financial transactions fairly.

At a historic Civil G20 Dialogue meeting in Seoul last week, one of the G20 Sherpas (as the top negotiators for the G8 and G20 Summits are called) told me, "Please keep pushing on the financial transaction tax. We need you to do so. It's like with the landmines treaty. Governments said it couldn't be done. You in the NGOs kept pushing. And it happened. This can happen too. It will happen – if you keep pushing us."

We know that bank taxes can are a complicated issue. In order to clear up the confusion the Robin Hood Tax campaign was delighted to have Professor Joseph Stiglitz on hand to explain why and how they should work. He took part in a media call with representatives of big media outlets in eleven countries.