Taxation without representation – The WHO’s harebrained scheme

[hat-tip to Medical Maven at PFI_Forum for the idea for the title of this blog.]

Just when you thought the WHO could not get any stranger, their Expert Working Group on R&D financing has come up with a bizzare scheme to tax the internet.

From FoxNews, January 15, 2010

The World Health Organization (WHO) is considering a plan to ask governments to impose a global consumer tax on such things as Internet activity or everyday financial transactions like paying bills online.

Such a scheme could raise “tens of billions of dollars” on behalf of the United Nations’ public health arm from a broad base of consumers, which would then be used to transfer drug-making research, development and manufacturing capabilities, among other things, to the developing world.


The expert panel cites a number of possible examples. Among them:

—a 10 per cent tax on the international arms trade, “which might net about $5 billion per annum”;

—a “digital tax or ‘hit’ tax.” The report says the levy “could yield tens of billions of U.S. dollars from a broad base of users”;

—a financial transaction tax.

It is difficult to know what is going on in the brains of the people who made these suggestions. Surely they must realise that the UN is not held in high regard by many, especially in the US. The idea that every time someone clicks on Rush Limbaugh’s website some money goes to the UN will obviously be infuriating to a large segment of the American public. If someone wanted to develop a policy that would guarantee that Americans did everything they could to dismantle the UN, I can’t think of a more effective approach than this proposal.

What are they thinking?


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