Fighting inequality in Europe and beyond

An Oxfam stunt calling for action to tackle tax havens. Credit: Tineke D'haese/Oxfam

Oxfam stunt in Brussels, Belgium on the need to end tax havens. 

In 2020, poverty increased for the first time in 25 years. Meanwhile the richest have become even richer. Inequality is skyrocketing with the world facing multiple crises such as the Ukraine war, the energy crisis and the aftermaths of the pandemic, yet some companies are recording their highest profits ever and the super-rich pocketed billions of euros, using tax loopholes to evade paying their fair share of tax.   

This inequality is not inevitable. It is a political choice and can be overcome by the right policies.  

The EU must build a fairer and more progressive tax system.

We need a fairer tax system that makes sure the super-rich and big companies pay their fair share of the bill. We need a tax system that does not allow big companies to profit from crises while the pockets of ordinary people are hit.

Windfall taxes are vital to stop this inequality explosion.

Money needs to be shifted from the big corporations and their wealthy shareholders to ordinary people battling higher bills. The EU must up its ambition by calling for sector-wide and automatic windfall profit taxes.

The EU must strengthen its action to end harmful tax practices like special favourable tax regimes for big multinational companies and special tax treatments for wealthy individuals. Many countries lose out on huge amounts of income every year due to tax avoidance. This money could be invested into public services proven to lessen inequality such as healthcare and social protection.

The EU should work at an international level to create a fair tax system.

This includes ending tax dodging and tax havens both within and outside Europe, stopping the race to the bottom in corporate taxation, improving tax transparency, and supporting tax negotiations at the UN level.

The EU should also promote more progressive taxation of individuals in EU countries, setting common rules to increase taxation on the very richest and introducing a European wealth tax.