Photo: Timothy Herbert/OxfamAUS Photo: Timothy Herbert/OxfamAUS

Robin Hood tax

A tiny tax on banks that will have a massive impact on the poor

Oxfam Australia has joined the campaign to introduce a Robin Hood Tax –  a tiny tax on financial institutions that would raise hundreds of billions every year to fight poverty.

How the Robin Hood Tax works

The Robin Hood Tax is a tiny tax (0.05%) on banks, hedge funds and other finance institutions. Levied on foreign exchange transactions, derivatives and share deals, it could raise hundreds of billions of dollars annually.

The tax is on very specific financial transactions, not on the everyday consumer. If enacted it would mean enough money to help provide vital investment in public services like healthcare and schools, as well as aid the fight against global poverty and climate change.

It’s proposed that 50% of the money raised by the tax would go toward domestic health and education services in the country levying the tax, and to pay for the cost of the bail-outs associated with the global financial crisis. The other 50% would be split equally between:

  • Assisting poor countries tackle poverty by achieving the Millennium Development Goals
  • Helping poor countries adapt to the impacts of climate change

The tax is expected to raise around $400 billion dollars a year (up to $18 billion dollars in Australia). By 2020 developing countries will need around $100 billion to assist them to adapt to the impacts of climate change. Much of this finance could come from the Robin Hood Tax.

Financial institutions through their greed and risk-taking created the global financial crisis, so its time they started to make a contribution to a better world. Read our Robin Hood Tax frequently asked questions.

You can help

We have an historic opportunity, at the G20 meeting in June, to get international agreement to introduce a Robin Hood Tax.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) in an interim report released in Apri 2010, described it as a “practical” idea and also publicly credited the campaign for alerting  it to the tremendous support for an international banking tax. However, many leaders including our Prime Minister have yet to publicly recognise the opportunity this tax provides us to easily and fairly reduce global poverty. Write to our government and ask for their support.

This is a simple and brilliant idea which transcends party politics and which – with your support – can become a reality. Hundreds of leading economic thinkers, from Joseph Stiglitz and Jeffrey Sachs to Warren Buffett and George Soros, support this tax. Let’s make sure our government does too.

Find out more

Read more about the Robin Hood Tax by downloading our frequently asked questions, or visit the Robin Hood Tax site

Clean Water Saves Lifes

Dairy farming in Bangladesh

Across the world, women are more likely to live in poverty. But in Bangladesh, dairy farming is creating income for women like Aklima. Together, we can help more women take control of their lives.

Oxfam Shop