Bill Nighy and the nurses…

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What do multibillionaires Bill Gates and Al Soros, Kofi Annan, actors Mark Ruffalo and Bill Nighy, Nobel Prize-winning economist Paul Krugman, Chris Martin of Coldplay and the NSW Nurses’ Association have in common? We all support a financial transactions tax (FTT).

Nurses from around the world with Oxfam Ambassador Bill Nighy holding a prescription for a FTT, at the G20 meeting in Geneva, May 2012, including Judith Kiejda (6th from left) and Coral Levett (2nd from right) of NSWNA.

This Saturday, 23 June, is World Public Services Day. It will come at the end of a turbulent week in NSW, with the state Government pushing through severe legislation to curtail workers compensation and the leading newspaper company shedding hundreds of jobs and under threat of being told what to print by mining magnate Gina Rinehart who now owns almost 20% of the company.

This is a good time to reflect on the importance of public services in an atmosphere of private greed. As Public Services International (PSI) states: Millions of people have had enough … We’re fed up with paying for enormous bailouts to financial institutions and ever more generous tax giveaways to the elite few who already have everything … Quality public services are the key to building civil societies where people work together for the benefit of the whole community, not the wealthy. Quality public services, free of corruption, are essential to provide equal access to health care and education, to ensure equal opportunities for ordinary people and to support a sustainable economy in a sustainable environment …

A tiny tax on financial transactions would raise billions of dollars to help create good jobs in a sustainable economy, end growing inequality, lift millions of people out of poverty, improve vital public services, and strengthen the global fight against climate change.

Coral Levett of NSWNA with nurses at the G20 summit in France in May 2012

Our sister organisation in the US, National Nurses United (NNU), is also campaigning for a ‘Robin Hood tax‘, having seen the misery and chaos inflicted on ordinary people from the greed on Wall Street.

Don’t believe a financial transactions tax is doable? Does economic jargon scramble your brain? You can download a very informative and easy-to-understand ‘myth-busting’ article about the FTT here.

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