An August IMF working paper by staffer John Brondolo takes the IMF into new territory, giving detailed information on how financial transaction taxes (FTTs) could be implemented. The paper compares “administrative feasibility” of FTTs with the IMF preferred financial activities tax (FAT, see Update 71), finding that, “in principle, an FTT is no more difficult and, in some respects easier, to administer than other taxes.” Campaigners for FTTs, dubbed ‘Robin Hood taxes’, welcomed the paper, and over 90 organisations wrote to IMF head Christine Lagarde in September asking her to “promote the widest possible adoption of FTTs to provide much needed funds for global public goods and discourage high frequency trading.”
After 4 years of on-off negotiation and public opposition, the government of Egypt has signed a loan deal with the IMF whose impacts civil society fears will encroach upon human rights, social protection and social provision, like health and education, upon which the poorest depend.
Investments by the World Bank-hosted Global Financing Facility (GFF) do not reflect the family planning priorities identified by developing countries and local communities. The GFF also continues to suffer from a lack of transparency and meaningful civil society participation, raising doubts about the new mechanism’s effectiveness.
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