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Modern day Robin Hood takes aim at climate change

PRESS RELEASE: Monday June 20th

Modern day Robin Hood takes aim at climate change and poverty

Actors staged a modern-day Robin Hood performance in Wellington’s Cuba Mall this afternoon as part of the Global Day of Action calling on the European Union to enact a Financial Transaction Tax (FTT), also known as a ‘Robin Hood Tax’.

Robin Hood symbolically transferred bundles of cash from an actor dressed as a banker to an archery target illustrating how a tiny tax on international financial transactions could help fund domestic public services AND the world’s poor to tackle poverty and climate change.

“We’re calling on the EU to implement a FTT and here in New Zealand for the government to progress an international FTT” said 350.org spokesperson Aaron Packard.

“This is a people-friendly tax that does not target individuals, but speculative financial transactions associated with bonds, dividends, foreign currency exchange and stocks. Even though it is set at a low rate of 0.05%-0.005%, it could raise billions of dollars to tackle poverty and climate change.”

The event is one of hundreds taking place during the Global Day of Action – an international campaign involving many different groups (including 350.org and Oxfam) calling for a Financial Transaction Tax. The tax is being considered by European Union Heads of State later this week. 350.org and other organisations, including Oxfam, an international development organisation, have called for 50% of the revenue of the FTT to be allocated to poverty alleviation and climate change action in poor countries, and the remaining 50% to be spent on domestic public goods such as health, education and climate change mitigation.

New Zealand, and other developed countries, have pledged to raise $100bnUSD/yr by 2020 for poor countries to tackle climate change, which Packard says “has to come from somewhere, and the FTT is one of the best solutions we have at hand.” Packard highlighted that it could also make a significant impact in efforts to deal with poverty “because 7 days of an FTT alone could pay for every child in the world to learn to read”.

“Taxing these speculative transactions is one way to serve justice for the reckless behaviour of the financial sector that helped push millions of people into poverty and climate vulnerability” said Packard.

350.org is launching an online petition to showcase worldwide support for the FTT ahead of the EU leaders meeting. The petition can be viewed at 350.org/ftt


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