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Brown pressed to tax banks for poor

Activists welcome call for Tobin tax

The anti-poverty charity War on Want today demanded that British prime minister Gordon Brown acts on backing for a tax on foreign currency transactions by Lord Turner, chairman of the Finance Services Authority.

Executive director John Hilary said: "War on Want welcomes Lord Turner's support for a Tobin tax to curb bank profits and bonuses. As well as restraining bank excesses, such a tax could generate billions for developing countries to use in the fight against poverty. We call on Gordon Brown to implement this tax as an urgent measure amid the growing world economic crisis."

A currency transactions tax at 0.005% on the four major currencies of sterling, the euro, the US dollar and the Japanese yen would generate £20 billion annually, according to research published by War on Want and the United Nations University.

A similar tax on sterling alone would generate £3 billion a year.

In the last decade War on Want has led the campaign for a Tobin tax.

It is named after the American economist James Tobin, who first proposed the tax over 30 years ago.

Hilary chairs the Stamp Out Poverty campaign, successor to the Tobin Tax Network.

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Tags: campaigns | tax dodging | tobin tax

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