Global finance and tax justice

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Fiscal policy is a key instrument of governments to turn the rights-based approach of sustainability, well-being and societal progress into practice. The actual priorities of governments are reflected more clearly in tax and budget policies than in government declarations and action programmes.

In recent decades, we have witnessed the erosion of public finance in many countries, which has resulted in the growing inability of governments to provide the necessary public goods and services in support of people’s welfare and care systems, thus failing to respond effectively to the aggravated social and environmental problems. Therefore, there is an urgent need to strengthen and redirect public finance.

In this section we look at issues of global finance – from traditional development finance to the broader agenda of the Financing for Development process -, including issues of domestic resource mobilization, public finance and sustainability budgets, the role of private finance in so-called blended finance, public-private-partnerships, debt, the monetary system and much more.

One specific focus of our work on finance is looking closely at the issue of tax justice. This includes the problem of curbing tax evasion and avoidance by transnational corporations, capital flight, money laundering, and illicit financial flows. On this issue, we collaborate closely with our partners in the Global Alliance for Tax Justice.

A new briefing from Eurodad reveals how the increased promotion of public-private partnerships (PPPs) by the World Bank and others is having a disastrous impact on both developed and developing countries. From the hospital in Lesotho which has swallowed up a quarter of the country's health budget, to the motorways which nearly bankrupted the Portuguese government - we expose how PPPs are enriching the already wealthy whilst ripping off citizens.

On the Role of the Private Sector in Development

European governments and the European Commission have been increasingly supporting a greater role for the private sector in their development cooperation. With new EU policies and instruments such as the European External Investment Plan, it was deemed important for CONCORD members to agree on a common position, common messages and priorities regarding the role of the private sector in contributing to sustainable development. To write this paper, CONCORD Europe's specific work stream on the private sector collaborated with all of [...]

Global Spotlight Report says that the Agenda 2030 proposal to eradicate poverty by 2030 is achievable but tax policies need to change.

New York, 11 July 2017: “The promise made by governments to eradicate poverty by 2030 is doable if countries cooperate to fight tax evasion and capital flights” argues an independent report submitted to the High Level Political Forum of the United Nations as an input to its debate today around the first of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
ECOSOC
ECOSOC
Source: UN Photo/UNDESA

The second FfD Forum will be convened by the President of ECOSOC from 22 to 25 May 2017 at the United Nations Headquarters in New York.

Building on the inaugural FfD Forum, which devoted particular attention to setting up the monitoring framework for the follow-up to the Addis Ababa Action Agenda (Addis Agenda), the 2017 Forum is expected to provide impetus for the implementation of FfD outcomes and the delivery of means of implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable [...]

Combatting inequalities within and among countries is key to women’s empowerment

By Barbara Adams and Karen Judd

The economic empowerment of women is the priority theme for the 2017 UN Commission on the Status of Women with special attention to the empowerment of indigenous women.

The struggle to empower women and to combat gender inequality goes hand in hand with the struggle for women’s human rights. The increasing application of human rights instruments from local to global continues to be the hallmark of organizing that crosses sectors, policy tracks and borders. [...]

UN expert body takes new steps to prevent corporate tax abuses, but more is needed to ensure companies pay their fair share and stop depleting the resources needed to realize human rights.

Blog by Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR)
 
Last week in Geneva the Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights – a UN human rights body – held a discussion of its draft General Comment on State obligations in the context of business activities. This General [...]

The current model of UN development assistance—operating country by country, and issue by issue, with priorities heavily driven by individual donors and their interests—is no longer fit for its intended purpose.

The ambitious vision of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development challenges the UN development system to fully respond to the inextricable links across countries and among social, economic and environmental concerns. This is not just an issue of greater efficiency and effectiveness within existing arrangements. It is a question [...]

This paper explores some of the links between tax- and gender justice at the global level by highlighting two central ways in which illicit financial flows and gender injustice are connected. First, through the effects of tax evasion and avoidance and secondly, through the role of financial secrecy jurisdictions and global networks of facilitators which enable illicit financial flows which result from trafficking in women. The paper argues that confronting and dismantling the global enablers and secrecy jurisdictions will be [...]

Side-event during the meeting of the UN Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters

2016 marks the first year after the adoption of three major international outcome documents including the the Addis Ababa Action Agenda. To implement these decisions, all countries will need to step up the mobilization of domestic resources and increase international cooperation. One of the decisions of the 3rd FfD-Conference was to strengthen the work of the UN Committee of Experts on International Cooperation in Tax Matters (UNTC). At our side-event, we want to learn from experts and discuss where the [...]

The importance of global cooperation on tax issues is becoming more and more evident. The sums lost amount to hundreds of billions annually. While steps to curb the losses are underway, gaps in global tax governance remain both in the institutional setting and with regard to substantive issues. For example, there is still no body with universal membership that could discuss issues that are of particular importance to countries in the Global South. In order to fill these gaps, either [...]

New Paper by Joseph Stiglitz and Mark Pieth

There is a growing global consensus that the secrecy-havens—jurisdictions which undermine global standards for corporate and financial transparency—pose a global problem: they facilitate both money laundering and tax avoidance and evasion, contributing to crime and unacceptably high levels of global wealth inequality.

As economic leaders, the United States and Europe have an obligation to force financial centers to comply with global transparency standards. That they have the instruments to do so has been forcefully shown in the fight against terrorism. [...]

Report says BASF had built up a perfidious tax policy

A report published today by the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament reveals how the German chemical multinational BASF has been avoiding paying taxes in the European Union on a grand scale for years. The company BASF makes targeted use of tax advantages in individual countries, and particularly benefits from tax havens such as Belgium, Malta and the Netherlands. Between 2010 and 2014, BASF henceforth, saved a total of almost one billion euros in taxes. Belgium allows the deduction of [...]