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Wed Feb 27, 2013, 06:10 PM

EU: financial tax should be used fight poverty and climate change

EU: financial tax should be used for development aid and climate

The European Commission said revenue from a proposed financial transaction tax (FTT) should be set aside to fight poverty and climate change, as an investment against global instability.

I would very much want member countries really to take it seriously, European commissioner for development Andris Piebalgs told reporters in Brussels on Wednesday (27 February).

The FTT is backed by 11 member states and would put 0.1 percent levy on bonds and shares and 0.01 percent on derivative products. Estimated generated annual revenues could range between 30 billion to 35 billion a year.

Unfilled promises include pulling some 1.3 billion people worldwide out of abject poverty. Around 670 million young people around the world are out of work, have no education, and little prospect of improving their livelihoods.


My first thought was that the poverty alleviation goal was focused on Europe's own poor (a "help our own poor first" kind of policy). Instead the EU is talking about using the FTT partially to fund its international poverty programs. And, of course, climate change action will benefit all of us, not just Europeans.

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