Global taxes for health
A tax on the international financial markets could raise billions of pounds, helping to plug the enormous funding gap facing health systems in poor countries.
As the world wakes up to the scale of the bank bail-outs of the past couple of years, huge funding challenges to tackle poverty and climate change remain. Could there be a way to cut the national debt of countries like the UK, while raising money to address poor health and other global needs, by getting the banks to redress some of the damage they have caused? Campaigners believe the answer is yes – and it could be done by taxing the financial markets.
Filling the tax gaps
Health systems across the developing world are short of cash. Taxation could be the most reliable way to boost government budgets so that more money can be spent on healthcare.
While aid money can be short term and unpredictable, taxation can provide governments with a steady flow of much needed income, free from any strings. It is a much more sustainable way of doing development, building accountability ‘down’ from states to their citizens, rather than ‘up’ to donors, and helping to break the aid dependency cycle.