Global Tax Fairness

Global Tax Fairness

Global Tax Fairness

Global Tax Fairness

Synopsis

This book addresses sixteen different reform proposals that are urgently needed to correct the fault lines in the international tax system as it exists today, and which deprive both developing and developed countries of critical tax resources. It offers clear and concrete ideas on how the reforms can be achieved and why they are important for a more just and equitable global system to prevail. The key to reducing the tax gap and consequent human rights deficit in poor countries is global financial transparency. Such transparency is essential to curbing illicit financial flows that drain less developed countries of capital and tax revenues, and are an impediment to sustainable development. A major break-through for financial transparency is now within reach. The policy reforms outlined in this book not only advance tax justice but also protect human rights by curtailing illegal activity and making available more resources for development. While the reforms are realistic they require both political and an informed and engaged civil society that can put pressure on governments and policy makers to act.

Excerpt

New Year’s Day 2016 marks the beginning of the era of the Sustainable Development Goals, which are to guide development efforts until 2030. It also marks the expiration of their predecessors, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), which have been used to track progress against human deprivation over the period of 1990–2015. Although some MDGs will not be achieved globally and none will be achieved for all countries and regions, there has been significant human development, especially in China. And yet, incomes in the poorest three deciles of humanity remain quite low indeed—ranging up to the purchasing power equivalent, per person per month, of about $60 in the United States in 2005 (PovcalNet, n.d.). At such low incomes, we cannot be surprised to find how precarious the human rights of the world’s poor still are. Of the 7.3 billion people alive today, 805 million are officially counted as chronically undernourished (FAO, IFAD, and WFP, 2014: 8, 11, 40), well over 1 billion as lacking adequate shelter (Rolnik, 2014: 1), 748 million as lacking safe drinking water (Too-Kong, 2014: 47), 1.8 billion as lacking adequate sanitation (Too-Kong, 2014: 25), around 1.1 billion as lacking electricity (World Bank, n.d.), more than one-third as lacking reliable access to essential medicines (Nyanwura and Esena, 2013: 208), 781 million over age 14 as illiterate (UNESCO, 2014), and 168 million children (aged 5 to 17) as doing wage work outside their household—often under slavery-like and hazardous conditions: as soldiers, prostitutes, or domestic servants, or in agriculture, construction, textile or carpet production (ILO, n.d.). During the first decade of the new millennium, easily a third of all human deaths were due to poverty-related causes, some 50,000 daily (WHO, 2008: 54–9 Table A1). For the entire decade, severe poverty

The figure in the text is derived by counting deaths from causes that occur almost exclusively in the poor countries, such as diarrhoeal diseases, hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, lower respiratory

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