Robin Hood Tax: Join the global movement

A tiny tax on the financial sector has the power to raise hundreds of billions of dollars each year to help tackle budget deficits here at home while addressing poverty reduction and climate change around the world.

What is the Financial Transaction Tax?

The global financial crisis has led to massive unemployment and budget cuts in the US and Europe, with developing countries faring even worse. With the constant bickering in Washington and in governments around the world, many of us feel powerless and don’t see a way out.

But there is a way. Right now, thousands of people around the world are coming together and calling for a tiny tax on large financial transactions, which could raise at least $400 billion annually. That's enough to help fight poverty at home and around the world. Enough to protect schools and hospitals. Enough to stop massive cuts across the public sector. And enough to help deal with the new climate challenges our world is facing.

Such a financial transaction tax, or Robin Hood tax as some call it, would average about $0.05%; that’s a small price for banks, hedge funds, and the rest of the financial sector to pay to help clear up the economic mess they helped create.

What are we calling for?

Oxfam is part of a massive global movement of nonprofit organizations, green groups, trade unions, celebrities, religious leaders and politicians, all campaigning to push the financial sector to pay up and generate much-needed public funds.

In Europe, this movement has gained political momentum, with French President Nicolas Sarkozy and German Chancellor Angela Merkel both calling for this tax. But thus far, the Obama administration has blocked any progress. President Obama’s administration says it’s not ready to support a financial transaction tax in the US. But that doesn’t mean that it has to stand in the way of progress across Europe.

That’s why Oxfam is asking President Obama to step aside and signal support to its European allies.

How can you help?

The Robin Hood Tax will come up for discussion next week in Cannes, France when leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies gather at the G20 Summit.