Saturday, 16 October 2004

Chirac in call for global tax


French President Jacques Chirac has called for an international tax to help fight poverty.

Speaking at the United Nations in New York, Mr Chirac praised a report prepared by a French working group, which suggested an international tax be levied on arms sales and some financial transactions in a bid to eradicate poverty.

The report contains “technically realistic and economically rational solutions”, said Mr Chirac, according to Reuters, who has joined forces with Brasilian President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva to push the anti-poverty agenda.

They will attempt to push forward to aim of halving the number of people in poverty by 2015, as UN leaders pledged in 2000.

More than a billion people around the world live in extreme poverty, surviving on less than one US dollar per day.

And a declaration signed by 110 countries urged governments to consider the report.

US criticism

But Mr Chirac’s ideas were strongly attacked by the US delegation.

US Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman said, “global taxes are inherently undemocratic. Implementation is impossible”.

Mr Chirac has also caused controversy in the EU by proposing a harmonised way of calculating corporate tax, which is strongly opposed by the UK.

By Richard Carter

This article first appeared on http://euobserver.com