HC Deb 12 May 1999 vol 331 c161W
13. Helen Jones

To ask the Secretary of State for International Development if she will assess the benefits for the world's poorest people of the introduction of a tax on currency speculation. [82962]

Clare Short

The proposal to tax currency transactions is of considerable interest. It could bring benefits in two ways. It could help reduce short term currency speculation, and it could raise significant resources to reduce poverty. Unfortunately, there are serious practical difficulties which stand in the way of implementation: it is difficult to distinguish between currency speculation and necessary currency transactions, and it would be difficult to agree on a satisfactory distribution of revenues. We will continue to study this and related proposals.