Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Accounting for poverty: new report

ActionAid has an important new report out about tax, tax dodging, tax havens (secrecy jurisdictions, we prefer) and developing countries. It complements their entertaining Outlandish Revenue Service project which we blogged recently. The new report contains such important statements as:

"ActionAid has calculated that, if all developing countries were able to raise just 15% of their national income as tax revenue – a commonly accepted minimum figure – they could realise at least an additional US$198 billion (£99 billion) per year. This amount is more than all foreign development assistance combined, and enough to meet and exceed the annual MDG funding gap."

And they quote the Kenya Revenue authority slogan:

"Pay your taxes and set your country free."

They make three crucial main recommendations"
  • "Country by Country reporting
  • Better tax information exchange
  • Stronger taxing rights for developing countries on cross-border investments and trade."
  • Tax businesses fairly
  • Invest in tax authorities
It contains lots of clear summaries, diagrams, graphs and data to help us navigate through the complexities.


Anonymous David Chester said...

All forms of taxation are by their nature a burden on somebody and nobody wants this load. Whilst we have to accept that taxes are a necessary part of government, we find it unfair when our earnings, purchases or durable goods in our posession are taxed. All these things fall under the general category of man-made wealth.

However there is one kind of posession which is should not be regarded as wealth because we have done nothing to produce it. This is land. The value that land has is due to the numbers of people who are living in the same community and whose participation in its infra-structure (by paying taxes) make the use of this land worthwhile. (Remember a gold-mine has no value if you cannot manage to dig out the gold and bring it to a community for exchange.)

Land is THE natural resource. The opportunity for its access should be shared by everyone and ownership of the land by somebody results in its advantage being held back. If this advantage (expressed as ground-rent) is taken as tax, then the effect of the community in causing the land to have value, is shared by the community. For social justice one should tax land values, not people.


3:29 am  

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