Use financial services Tax for Maternal and Child Health


The Zero Deficit Budget that Government of the late President Bingu wa Mutharika introduced contained a lot of unpopular taxes. Among them is the introduction of Financial Services Tax which Malawians got angry with. However, the tax was still implemented and Government has been collecting the money for its general use.

The new President, Her Excellency Joyce Banda's administration will be presenting its first budget in the coming weeks. Many Malawians expect her to remove the many taxes the Zero Deficit Budget brought and return to normal budgeting process with donor input.

But today, this blog and other equally minded players in the Health Sector are requesting Her Excellency the President of the Republic of Malawi Mrs. Joyce Banda, the Minister of Health and Vice President of the Republic of Malawi Right Honourable Khumbo Kachali, the Minister of Finance Dr. Ken Lipenga M.P to keep the financial services taxes intact.

As unpopular as such a suggestion might be, Banks and Financial Services have been posting huge profits despite the challenges the Malawi has faced. It is time to tax these institutions, not for the sake of it, but for the sake of a broader public good and investing in the larger community.

The Financial Services tax should be collected and be deposited into a special Government account to be used for the following suggested things;

1. Improving  Maternal Health
2.Improving Child Health
3. Training of Healthcare Workers
4. Safety net for the most poor- including investing in Alternative Environmental Friendly initiatives for the poor, Youth and Women empowerment.

Madam President, the newly created Presidential Initiative on Safe Motherhood has a critical funding gap just as other interventions such as Child Health and Human Resources for Health. Training of Nurses and Midwives has at times been postponed due to lack of funds after the end of the Donor supported Emergency Training Programme.

Many mothers continue to deliver in many places without a skilled Healthcare personnel, while the ratio of Nurse to Patient is around 1:50. In fact Malawi's maternal and child deaths are near like Sierra Leone and Somalia who have undergone devastating wars.

We can invest, all of us collectively as Malawians by adopting this tax and supporting Maternal Health.

Oxfam has been championing the same idea for the noble cause. Malawi could be a model of this campaign dubbed the ROBIN HOOD TAX CAMPAIGN, by maintaining the taxes on the Financial Sector and using it for a specific and measurable goal.

I hope all Malawians will join in support of this noble cause and save the Mothers and Children that die at delivery or birth.

JOIN THE ROBIN HOOD TAX CAMPAIGN. Email:, phone : +265 111 209 402.


Kondwani Bell Munthali

Email from Ann Nolan of OXFAM Robin Hood Tax Campaign explaining about the campaign: 

The big idea behind the Robin Hood Tax is to place a tiny tax on financial sector transactions which would have the power to raise hundreds of billions globally to protect public services and jobs, fight poverty at home and abroad and fight climate change. In Malawi it could help support the provision of essential services such as health and education. This video explains it much better than I can...

When the campaign launched two years ago the idea of taxing the banks was unimaginable but it's now on the edge of becoming reality. There are branches of the campaign happening across the world  And the idea has won support from all arenas. From big name economists Nobel Prize winners Joseph Stiglitz and Paul Krugman and Earth Institute Director Jeffrey Sachs . To prominent advocates including Microsoft founder and philanthropist, Bill Gates. And religious leaders Desmond Tutu, Rowan Williams, the Vatican and Jesse Jackson. Other prominent public figures have also added their voice of support including Ban Ki Moon, Kofi Annan, Al Gore and Gordon Brown, alongside 1000 parliamentarians from 30 countries, as well as key financiers such as Adair Turner, George Soros and Warren Buffet. There is hardly a day goes by when the Robin Hood Tax or Financial Transaction Tax is not in the news. 

This is a huge turnaround and at the heart of this progress is the efforts of civil society organisations and supporters. And the extraordinary actions of people around the world mean this is a fight that can be won. Next week, as leaders meet for the G8 in Camp David, thousands of nurses will march in Chicago to try to convince President Obama to put the interests of Main Street ahead of the titans of Wall Street. Some of those nurses will have travelled from around the world to take part. They come with one simple message: enough is enough, it's time for governments to follow the nurses' example and put people, not profits first, and a Robin Hood Tax can make this possible!



Am liking this Robin Hood Tax Idea. We really need to tax these financial institutions to help the poor. Robbing the rich and helping the poor. When is the photo stunt happening Kho? Am into this campaign!
I like the idea; however, it will be great to discuss all the taxes that were introduced by the DPP administration together and then prioritize which ones to scrap and which ones to retain. The rational suggested for retaining the financial services taxes are valid and i would go for that.
samwale RSA said…
At Dennis, am with you. I second ur comment.

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