Some progress on inequality and climate change in Lima amid tax disappointment

Published: 10th October 2015

At the Annual Meetings of the World Bank and the IMF in Peru this week, moves to help combat inequality and climate change were announced, but G20 finance ministers failed to adequately address the skewed international tax system, said Oxfam today.

On inequality:

Responding to comments on inequality made by International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde and World Bank President Jim Kim during the Annual Meetings in Lima, Oxfam International Executive Director Winnie Byanyima said:

“Christine Lagarde’s call in Lima for finance ministers to tackle inequality head-on is a welcome battle cry. What better place to deliver this urgent message than in Latin America – the world’s most unequal region where the richest 1% own 41% of the wealth.

“Lagarde’s reminder, alongside Jim Kim’s clear rejection of trickle-down economics last week, shows how these two leaders agree that fighting inequality is a key priority for the international community. While strong words are welcome, we now need tangible action.”

On international tax reform:

Responding to the G20’s endorsement of the Organization of Economic Co-operation and Development’s action plan to curb tax avoidance, Oxfam International Executive Director Winnie Byanyima said:

“The G20 finance ministers are premature in celebrating tax reforms that do little to stop corporate tax dodging in most of the world's poorest countries. It is not only time for implementation as they need to come back to the negotiating table and give all countries, not just the richest, a truly equal say.

The unfinished business that hurts poor countries includes harmful tax competition, corporations not paying taxes where they trade and shifting profits through tax havens. Only when these are fully addressed will we have a real plan that puts an end to this tax scourge once and for all.”

On the World Bank’s stance on TPP:

Responding to the World Bank and others embracing TPP, Oxfam International Executive Director Winnie Byanyima said:

“Trade can help lift millions out of poverty, but only if the deal represents everyone’s needs, not just the vested interests of corporations. We are worried by news reports and leaks showing how TPP might limit access to affordable medicines in developing countries.”

On the World Bank’s increase in funds to fight climate change:

Responding to World Bank President Jim Kim’s pledge to increase their financial commitment to climate adaptation, Oxfam International Executive Director Winnie Byanyima said:

“More commitments are welcome, and the World Bank’s move echoes previous commitments by regional development banks. Oxfam expects the World Bank to take a leading role in supporting the communities most vulnerable to our warming world.”

Contact information

Simon Hernandez-Arthur, in Lima. +1 (585) 503 4568

Twitter: @SimonHernandez

For updates, follow @Oxfam