Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Global Corporate Taxation and Resources for Quality Public Services

Education International, on behalf of the Council of Global Unions, has released a new publication Global Corporate Taxation and Resources for Quality Public Services. The report identifies the loopholes which global corporations use to avoid their taxation responsibilities

The report cites John Evans, General Secretary of the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD, making important observations:
As the crisis enters a new and ever more dangerous phase – characterised by sovereign debt traps, capital flight and governments entrenching austerity policies as they try in vain to restore financial market “confidence” – the global trade union movement is calling for a radically different economic strategy that prioritises employment and social justice.

The bedrock for such a strategy is a sound tax system: one that finances the public goods and quality public services needed to stimulate inclusive growth and contributes
to reversing the rise in income inequality that has been the feature of the failed economic growth model of the past twenty years.

The tax reforms undertaken by many countries have shifted the focus of taxation away from corporations, capital and rich individuals who are internationally mobile, and on to the incomes and consumption of working families who are not.
On tax havens, he notes:
The explosion in the growth of off-shore tax havens has further weakened the ability of tax systems to collect tax revenue and further shifted the tax burden on to working
families. It has also produced gross economic distortions. Thanks to their tax haven status, Mauritius is the largest investor in India and the British Virgin Islands one of the largest investors in China. This shows where global corporations keep their money – not where they earn their money. Failure to clamp down on domestic tax evasion has also been revealed as a major governance failure – as today’s Greek tragedy shows only too clearly.

G20 Summits have made successive proclamations on ending bank secrecy and clamping down on tax havens. And OECD- based work on tax havens and money laundering is regularly heralded as a “breakthrough”. But the actions continue to fall short of the words.
His statement closes with the welcome words:
Working together with our civil society allies, the global trade union movement will continue to be at the forefront of public debate and action to restore justice and efficiency to public policy on tax.
Read the full report here.

Hat tip: Markus Meinzer.


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