Gates To Address G20 Leaders About Foreign Aid, Robin Hood Tax

Bill Gates, co-chair of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is expected to tell G20 leaders on Thursday that tightening foreign aid budgets amid the current economic crisis “is counterproductive and pointless,” the Toronto Star reports. “‘Aid is a small investment that generates a huge return. Those are precisely the investments we should spare when it’s time to make cuts,’ he says in prepared comments seen by the” Star, according to the newspaper.

“If the aid budgets of advanced economies are trimmed, important aspects of the global development agenda will not be tackled, Gates says,” adding, “Foreign aid ‘spurs innovation by funding pilot projects that poor countries would not undertake themselves. It also pays for global public goods like scientific research,'” the Star writes (Whittington, 11/2). According to the Guardian, Gates will also tell the G20 group “that they could raise an extra $48 billion (30 billion pounds) a year to fight global poverty by levying a small tax on share and bond trading,” a so-called Robin Hood tax, adding the “levy on finance would help hard-pressed rich nations to meet their aid pledges to the poor” (Elliott, 11/2).