An idea has been put forward to institute a global tax on greenhouse gas emissions, arms sales, airline tickets and credit card purchases, similar to the so-called Tobin tax which wanted to tax speculative currency movements to raise funds to fight poverty.
The charge is being led by the Brazilian President in tandem with Jacques Chirac
Now, let’s see why they propose it (emphasis mine):
Mr Annan told the Financial Times he was encouraged by efforts to find new sources of finance for development and particularly the idea of a solidarity fund based on air ticket levies, which could provide “a constant stream of money”.
[insert snarky comment about the constant stream of Oil-For-Food money drying up for Kofi]
You’d think nobody, knowing about those three, would go along. You’d be wrong. It’s already being put into action: Last week (via Hispalibertas) UK, France to launch air ticket levy scheme for aid
Britain and France are to launch a scheme to finance aid for poor countries from levies on airline tickets and expressed hope that more countries would join the scheme soon, they said on Friday.
France reaffirmed it would raise money with a new tax as early as 2006 but Britain said it would divert funds from existing taxes on air travel and there would be no new UK levy.
The two countries have been pressing other members of the G8 group of rich countries to raise the levy on tickets, proposed by French President Jacques Chirac earlier this year, but not all of them have agreed to join in.
OK, so airlines are suffering because of increased fuel costs, and now the consumer’s expected to pay even more because of this tax. Bad enough, you’d say?
But not as bad as this,
France and Britain urged other nations to join the scheme which it hopes could contribute to funds raised by a proposed International Finance Facility (IFF) — a plan to double aid spending by issuing bonds using rich countries’ future aid commitments as collateral.
So, a “rich” country puts out a theoretical amount, i.e., “future aid commitments as collateral”, and then increases its debt by issuing bonds.
Is that nuts, or what?
Update: Here’s what Claudia Rosett has to say,
Having evidently learned nothing from Oil-for-Food, Annan’s pet plan these days is that rich nations contribute an automatic 0.7 percent of their gross domestic product for official development aid to poor countries — much of that presumably to be channeled through the U.N. However lofty the intent, the design is perverse, not least in diverting yet more money from the private sector — which is the real source of development — toward some of the world’s worst crooks. The U.N. is the leading global clubhouse legitimizing the dictators whose policies produce the world’s worst poverty. (Watch for their motorcades on Fifth Avenue this week). And until the U.N. centers its reforms not around shaking down rich donors, but around true transparency and responsible, accountable leadership, sending another flood of money its way is not a recipe for development. It is an invitation for yet more scandal and corruption.
Listen to Claudia, folks. She knows what she’s talking about.