I wrote a piece earlier on the UN Human Rights Council’s ludicrous attack on Canada over what it calls unacceptable levels of “food insecurity” in one of the world’s wealthiest nations. Now a group of United Nations “independent experts” is pushing the European Union to back a global financial transaction tax ahead of the G-8 Summit “to offset the costs of the enduring economic, financial, fuel, climate and food crises, and to protect basic human rights.”
According to this statement posted by the UN, under the auspices of the Human Rights Council:
"Where the world financial crisis has brought about the loss of millions of jobs, socialized private debt burdens and now risks causing significant human rights regressions through wide-ranging austerity packages, a financial transaction tax (FTT) is a pragmatic tool for providing the means for governments to protect and fulfill the human rights of their people,” said the rights experts on extreme poverty, food, business, foreign debt and international solidarity.In the view of the UN, a global tax is vital in order to combat poverty and redistribute wealth:
"EU countries must take bold leadership now to pave the way towards what should eventually be a global FTT,” they urged, welcoming recent EU proposals to implement the financial transaction tax across the Eurozone.
For the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Magdalena Sepúlveda, “the opportunity should not be wasted; it would fill government deficit holes, but should be channeled to fighting poverty, reversing growing inequality, and compensating those whose lives have been devastated by the enduring global economic crisis.”The last thing the global economy needs right now is an oppressive international tax on financial transactions that would stifle the free market, help kill job creation and place an additional yoke around the necks of businesses and entrepreneurs. It is nothing more than socialism writ large on a worldwide scale, and UN officials are deluding themselves if they think it will actually be implemented across the globe.
“When the financial sector fails to pay its share, the rest of society must pick up the bill,” she said. “It is high-time that governments re-examine the basic redistributive role of taxation to ensure that wealthier individuals and the financial sector contribute their fair share of the tax burden.”
… “A global consensus on a financial transaction tax would represent an historic decision to prioritize the most disadvantaged and marginalized and be a valuable means of assisting developing countries to meet obligations to ensure the full realization of all economic, social and cultural rights,” concluded the UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Ms. Magdalena Sepúlveda.
There is a danger however that such a tax (commonly dubbed a Tobin Tax), will be introduced within the Eurozone, and the idea is strongly backed by the ruling coalition in Germany. If it does come into force within much of the European Union it will be yet another symbol of a failing European Project sinking amidst a sea of debt and regulation. Europe's leaders should be looking to cut taxes instead of raising them. Only greater economic freedom and national sovereignty, and not the deathly hand of big government meddling, can turn around the financial crisis in Europe.