U.N. Proposes Global Taxes

The United Nations recently proposed that countries impose international taxes to raise more than $400 billion a year. The global taxes would be on carbon, currency transactions and billionaires.

A U.N. World Economic and Social Survey found that the needs of developing countries were not being met and that more money was needed to fight global issues like climate change. These new taxes would help “donor countries overcome their record of broken promises.”

The United Nations plays a marginal role in global economic issues and has no authority to enforce an international tax. The world body can only urge its 193 members to impose such taxes.

“Donor countries have fallen well short of their aid commitments and development assistance declined last year because of budget cuts, increasing the shortfall to $167 billion,” the survey’s author, Rob Vos, said in a statement.

“We are suggesting various ways to tap resources through international mechanisms, such as coordinated taxes on carbon emissions, air traffic, and financial and currency transactions,” he said.

Some United Nations officials have suggested replacing the U.S. dollar as the world’s currency with IMF Special Drawing Rights, an idea that a number of countries support.

Another idea from The World Economic and Social Survey was that regular allocations of IMF Special Drawing Rights and use of idle Special Drawing Rights could produce about $100 billion annually to buy long-term assets that would then be used as development finance.

The survey also said a $25 per ton tax on carbon emissions from developed countries, to be collected by national authorities and allocated for international causes could raise $250 billion a year. Another $40 billion a year could be raised from a 0.005 percent transaction tax on the world’s four main currencies, the U.S. dollar, euro, yen and the British pound. A tax of 1 percent on billionaires could also be explored.

“Realizing the potential of these mechanisms will require international agreement and corresponding political will, both to tap sources as well as to ensure allocation of revenues for development,” Vos said.

Here’s an interesting word the U.N. might want to look up:

sovereignty n.

1. the quality or state of being sovereign.

2. rightful status, independence, or prerogative.

3. A nation or state’s supreme power within its borders.




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