Unions advocate for fairer tax at G20

Michael Whaites (NSWNMA), Juliette Ashton (CPSU), Brett Holmes (NSWNMA) and Arthur Rorris (South Coast Labour Council) at the Robin Hood Tax tour.
Michael Whaites (NSWNMA), Juliette Ashton (CPSU), Brett Holmes (NSWNMA) and Arthur Rorris (South Coast Labour Council) at the Robin Hood Tax tour.

While the global political glitterati shared the limelight with some compliant koalas at the G20 leaders conference, other voices were also in Brisbane advocating for fairer public policy.

With major concerns over the future of essential public services and access to Medicare, unions argue that governments could raise billions of dollars in revenue using a modest levy, of between 0.005 and 0.05 per cent, placed on the trading of stocks, bonds, derivatives, futures, options and credit default swaps.

The NSWNMA joined international colleagues from Global Nurses United, representing nursing and midwifery unions from 14 countries and Public Services International, a global trade union federation of public service members, to argue the case for a Financial Transactions Tax (FTT) also known as the Robin Hood Tax.

The NSWNMA advocated for the Robin Hood tax on a road tour starting in Wollongong and progressing through Parramatta, Gosford, Newcastle, Tamworth, Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Lismore and Tweeds Head before finally arriving in Brisbane for the G20.
The NSWNMA advocated for the Robin Hood tax on a road tour starting in Wollongong and progressing through Parramatta, Gosford, Newcastle, Tamworth, Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Lismore and Tweeds Head before finally arriving in Brisbane for the G20.

The FTT is gaining momentum as public policy in many parts of the world especially Europe. The European Commission reached agreement with 11 member states earlier this year to develop an Accord that would enable a European Union Financial Transactions Tax from 1 January 2016. France and Italy have already introduced their own domestic financial transactions taxes.

NSWNMA General Secretary Brett Holmes says it is possible for governments to implement a Financial Transactions Tax to fund services like public health, aged care and Medicare, while shielding low and middle income earners through other taxation changes.

“Instead of trying to slug those already doing it tough by broadening the GST base, we want the government to seriously consider alternative measures, such as a Robin Hood Tax, to address the country’s revenue problem,” he said.

NSWNMA representatives with our colleagues from the Queensland Nurses Union at the G20 Roadshow
NSWNMA representatives with our colleagues from the Queensland Nurses Union at the G20 Roadshow

“We believe this levy is worthy of consideration rather than shifting public health care to an Americanised two-tier health system, where privatisation will impede access to health care and patients will be forced to question their wealth over their health.”

 

Pictured above: NSWNMA RHT delegation, South Bank. Brisbane. Left to right: Gary Clark, Connie Cullen, Coral Levett, Michelle Cashman, Mark Murphy, Matt Henderson


Get involved

A global campaign for tax justice with (l-r) Linda Silas (Canadian Federation of Nurses Union), Kenneth Zinn (NNU), Coral Levett (NSWNMA), Deborah Burgher (NNU), Beth Mohle (QNU), Brett Holmes, Abdul Adeniji (President, Association of Nigerian Nurses & Midwives) and Daniel Bertossa (PSI)
A global campaign for tax justice with (l-r) Linda Silas (Canadian Federation of Nurses Union), Kenneth Zinn (NNU), Coral Levett (NSWNMA), Deborah Burgher (NNU), Beth Mohle (QNU), Brett Holmes, Abdul Adeniji (President, Association of Nigerian Nurses & Midwives) and Daniel Bertossa (PSI)

The tour gained broad community support with other public sector unions actively supporting the tour. This included delegates from the CPSU who are fighting to stop the privatisation of Medicare, the ASU/USU and the ETU. The Association will continue to build on this support throughout 2015. For more information about how to get involved visit out website at www.nswnma.asn.au/get-involved/taxjustice or phone us on 8595 2153.