Stamp Out Poverty Campaign : Update - Spring 2005

Re-invention as Stamp Out Poverty

2005 is Make Poverty History year. It presents our campaign with an unprecedented opportunity, as the eyes of the world turn to the UK when we host the G8 summit, and then chair the EU presidency. The Government has declared that international aid needs to be doubled, with an extra 50 billion dollars required each year to provide clean water, healthcare and education to the world’s most deprived people. At the same time many world leaders, including France’s President Chirac and Brazil’s President Lula, are calling for innovative income streams to combat hunger and poverty.

Shirley Williams, leading parliamentarian, with Lieven Denys, architect of the Belgian currency transaction tax legislation, at the launch event of Stamp Out Poverty

Our challenge as a campaign is how to best take advantage of this unique situation. As global decision-makers wrestle with the problem of how to generate new sources of aid revenue, our opportunity is to present them with a solution. We have to show, in the clearest way we can, that a tax on the trade in money is lucrative, possible and, if they want to see it happen, realistic.

To best maximise our chances of progress the Tobin Tax Network (a coalition of more than 50 UK charities, faith groups and trade unions) has decided to concentrate this year on the revenue-raising dimension of our work. In so doing we have articulated the currency transaction tax (CTT) proposal in the exact terms required for its immediate implementation in the UK. Essentially, what we are asking the Government to do is levy a stamp duty on sterling currency transactions of 0.005 per cent. This would raise £3,000 million pounds each year to be ring-fenced for international development. It can be introduced by the Chancellor in a budget and enter into force within one year.

And to translate this new approach into the most effective way to win the CTT argument, on April 7 the Tobin Tax Network underwent a transformation as we launched Stamp Out Poverty – the campaign for a stamp duty on currency transactions. The launch took place at an excellent, well-attended event in Westminster hosted by leading parliamentarian, Shirley Williams, and with special guest, Professor Lieven Denys, an author of the Belgium CTT legislation passed last year. See our new web-site for more information.

We are pleased to report the Guardian and other media covered the story. Click here.

Crucially, the event marked the launch of our new, very informative and easy-to-read briefing, which sets out in clear terms why a CTT in the form of a stamp duty is entirely feasible, and would be simple to implement. Read or download a copy of the Briefing here. You can also E-mail us at to order printed copies.

Urgent Action – Do It Now Gordon

It’s time for Gordon Brown to get a move on. He said in January: “It is about action to right wrongs – this year, now, urgently. No longer evading, no longer procrastinating, no more excuses”. Well, lets take him at his word. We are tired of excuses, too. Please write to him now – click here for more information. We want a stamp duty on the money trade to STAMP OUT POVERTY NOW.