Round Table Event in Lima "Fiscal Policy, Growth and Inequality" 7-8 September
The main objective of the Round Table is to promote an informal dialogue through which civil society organisations, regional intergovernmental organisations, scholars and Latin American government officials are able to exchange visions and proposals towards more progressive tax reforms in the region and tackling tax evasion that allow countries to build more equitable, transparent and democratic societies.
The round table will be developed in three thematic panels which will discuss: 1) the fiscal policy within the framework of the current economic crisis; 2) the main concerns about fiscal and tax issues including trade and financial linkages to taxation, tax havens and tax competition; and 3) articulation on tax and fiscal issues between government officials and civil society.
Fiscal policy: the great challenge for Latin America
Taxation is the main pillar to finance national public budgets that are used to finance public policies designed to improve the quality of life of the people and reduce inequalities of all types. This can be achieved provided that the tax contribution and the public expenditure are distributed in a just and equitable manner, in order to work towards the attainment of economic, social and cultural rights.
Historically, tax systems in the region have been characterised by a low tax contribution, coupled with highly regressive direct taxes that are levied disproportionally on the poor and the marginalised, while the wealthiest citizens find ways of avoiding or evading taxation altogether either through illicit financial flows or generous tax exemptions given to some sectors of the economy.
In the last decades tax policy has been in the agenda of Latin American governments, but it has not always been a subject of rigorous analysis of its economic and social consequences. The main focus has been on increasing the tax contribution, while some other issues remain open, such as the interaction of the tax policy with macroeconomic policies of trade and employment; its effects on savings and investments; and its impact on income and wealth distribution.
The recent years of economic growth and the relative macroeconomic stability do explain the increasing trend in tax collection in the last decade in Latin America. Growing tax receipts have been possible due to a greater demand from emerging countries primary produce of minerals and agricultural produce, combined with the high international prices of commodities.
Despite the commodity boom, fiscal sustainability continues to be one of the biggest challenges for developing countries. This is due to a high dependence on the international policy context including international tax treaties; the payments of debt service and the inefficiency of public administration in the implementation of public policies. At the same time, the income in these countries has been greatly affected by informality, and tax evasion and avoidance, in all its possible forms.
In addition to these problems, governments give tax holidays and exemptions to big multinational companies through trade and bilateral investments agreements. As if these were not enough, the region faces networks of corruption composed of businessmen, public officials and advisors that take advantage of tax havens (or secrecy jurisdictions) to hide the benefits of illicit activities, and to evade paying taxes.
The relevance and urgency of these issues require a broad debate and a strong commitment to improve the dialogue among all the stakeholders involved in order to work in concrete proposals towards fiscal and tax justice.
Download the agenda of the event here
Please note that this event will be conducted in Spanish language.
Registration is open until September 1st – Limited places available.
We do not charge a conference participation fee within the availability of space, but self-registering participants are expected to cover their own travel and accommodation expenses.
Upon registration we will send a logistics sheet where we recommend convenient hotels and restaurants near the conference venue that you can book using your own travel agent.
For any inquires or to confirm your participation, please complete this form and send it to the Coordinating Committee at: firstname.lastname@example.org