A little over a year ago and a half ago, I worked closely with dozens of other NGOs across Canada to introduce Canadians to a tiny tax on banks that could change the world as we know it today. At that time, we launched robinhoodtax.ca, mobilized thousands through Facebook and Twitter, and paraded through streets across Canada in green tights (the things we do for justice!) to bring aboard new recruits to Robin Hood’s merry band for a tax on the banks.
We immediately felt a buzz in the air. You were ready to get behind the tax, along with tens of thousands of others, including individuals from all walks of life – from teachers and nurses, to celebrities and influential economists – all climbing on board to see Robin Hood have his day in the sun, demanding that people and the planet come first.
Last week the Robin Hood Tax gained another powerful member to its merry band, as Bill Gates told the G20 Finance Ministers (at their meeting in Washington, DC on September 23rd) that a financial transaction tax would be a viable option for raising billions for aid and development. Gates has proposed a small tax on financial transactions could be used to raise $48 billion annually if coordinated through the G20, or $9 billion if coordinated through large European economies. Either way, small change for the banks, big change for the world.
So, welcome to the band, Bill! I wonder if he’ll be next in line to be featured in the latest Robin Hood Tax video?
Victoria Harnett is Oxfam Canada’s outreach officer in Ontario.