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Chirac Touts Plans For Worldwide Anti-Poverty Tax

by Leroy Baker, Tax-News.com, New York

22 September 2004


French President Jacques Chirac has repeated his call for an international tax aimed at reducing global poverty levels during a United Nations summit in New York.

Chirac has been a long-standing advocate of a worldwide tax, and earlier this year appointed a panel of experts including economists, business leaders, government officials and activist groups to examine the issue.

The 150 page report produced by the panel has suggested a number of different revenue-raising ideas including taxes on emissions of greenhouse gasses, certain financial transactions, arms sales, airline tickets, credit card purchases or shipping.

The document also contained proposals for a levy on multinational firms and the creation of an international lottery.

It is thought that a global tax system could build a pot of around $50 billion to be used in programmes designed to reduce poverty.

The panel has declined however, to name their preferred method of taxation, although the report claimed that each levy is “technically feasible.”

This is a view echoed by Chirac, who, according to Reuters, believes that the recommendations are "technically realistic and economically rational solutions."

While the proposals may be realistic in a technical sense, from a political standpoint they are unlikely to be practical, especially in the face of vehement opposition from the United States government.

Summing up the American view on the matter, US Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman argued that global taxes are “inherently undemocratic”.

“Implementation is impossible,” she added.

TAGS: Italy

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