Saturday 20 January 2018

No agreement on plans to boost IMF

Donal O'Donovan

Donal O'Donovan

YESTERDAY'S meeting of the heads of the G20 group of leading economies ended without agreement on measures to boost the size of the IMF, or a planned 'Robin Hood' financial transactions tax.

The G20 meeting in Cannes was dominated by the unfolding European debt crisis. It left little chance for leaders to make progress on the rest of their agenda.

Leaders did agree that the IMF needs more cash to fight the debt crisis. But the US is unwilling to pay more to help rich countries in Europe, meaning there was no deal how the IMF will be boosted, who should pay and how much is needed.

French President Nicolas Sarkozy hosted the Cannes meeting. He pushed his plan for a 'Robin Hood' tax that would put a charge on all financial transactions to help recoup some of the costs of the global bailouts.

The plan was formally put to the political leaders by Micro-soft founder Bill Gates, but failed to win the backing of the G20. In a report to the G20, Mr Gates proposed taxes on financial transactions, aviation and shipping fuel and tobacco as new ways that countries could raise resources for poorer countries.

The taxes would be set at a fraction of a percent, according to Mr Gates.

The US, Britain and Canada all voted against, and even Germany, a key French ally, failed to get behind the scheme.

"I remain convinced (the tax) is possible. . . and that morally it is absolutely necessary," Mr Sarkozy told a news conference.

Irish Independent

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