June 27, 2010; Source: Independent Media Centre Australia | Did anything happen at the G20 meetings in Toronto of interest to U.S. nonprofits? You bet. Despite the presence of “Harry Potter” and “Pirates of the Caribbean” actor Bill Nighy as a representative of Oxfam arguing for a tax on large financial transactions, the G20 nations rejected the “Robin Hood Tax” proposal supported by a bevy of major NGOs such as Oxfam and Greenpeace International.
Australia and Canada appear to have been the major opponents of the Robin Hood Tax among the G20 nations. The proposed tax was tiny, only .05 percent which proponents said would raise $400 billion annually to fund poverty alleviation and public services.
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Along with Nighy, Nobel prize winning economist Joseph Stiglitz also endorsed the Robin Hood Tax as a disincentive to speculative market-distorting trading. Nighy told G20 delegates that “the Robin Hood tax would institutionalize charity, and you’d never have to be bothered by people like me anymore.” Apparently, the G20 wizards are more concerned about preventing this micro-tax than helping poverty-stricken Muggles.—Rick Cohen