The anti-poverty charity War on Want has 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.
This is basically the same as the so-called 'Tobin tax' aimed at trying to curb bank profits and bonuses - but also such a tax could generate billions for developing countries to use in the fight against poverty. It is named after the American economist James Tobin, who first proposed the tax over 30 years ago.
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 - indeed I found on my computer files going back to 1999 and the letters I had written then supporting War on Wants campaign on this.
See more info at the Stamp Out Poverty campaign, successor to the Tobin Tax Network. Do consider joining me in writing to Brown on this one.