Nurses take to the water to call for Robin Hood tax

BRENT ROW

An international alliance of nurses and midwives took to the Brisbane River this morning to call on G20 leaders to implement a “Robin Hood” tax.

The boat performed a two-hour circuit of South Bank with nurses on board singing the tune from the Robin Hood television series.

The Robin Hood tax has been given different names in different countries, but the idea is the same everywhere: a small levy on the transactions of big banks that according to Oxfam International “could deliver billions to help ordinary people and fight poverty around the world”.

Queensland Nurses Union Secretary Beth Mohle said the Robin Hood tax would have minimal impact on everyday people, but could contribute funds for essential public services.

“It doesn’t actually impact upon you and me when we take money out of the automatic teller or stuff like that,” Ms Mohle said.

“It will raise billions of dollars not only to fund public health services such as health and education, but also to tackle things such as climate change and poverty in the developing world,” she said.

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Midwives chant slogans on the protest boat. Photo: Linda Brady

Ms Mohle said nurses wanted to use the G20 Leaders’ Summit as an opportunity to send a message to the leaders of the global economy.

“[We’re here] to send a message to the G20 delegates and the world leaders there that we have to fund public health services properly,” Ms Mohle said.

“We’ve got nurses and midwives from not only Queensland and New South Wales … as well as colleagues from the American Nurses Union and the Canadian Nurses Union,” she said.

Currently, eleven of the G20 economies support a “Robin Hood” style tax.

The European Union is set to introduce the tax in January 2016.

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