Success of “global tax platform” hinges on how well it represents developing countries and fights inequality
In response to “Global Tax Platform” presented by the International Monetary Fund, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the United Nations, and the World Bank, Susana Ruiz, Oxfam’s tax policy expert said:
“This global tax platform represents a step in a long road towards building a fairer and more transparent tax system. The platform must be able to deliver tangible results and combat inequality, but most importantly, it must give the poorest countries a voice in all discussions and agreements. For too long, the concerns of developing countries have been outweighed by those of powerful and wealthy governments and business interests.
“The Panama Papers showed the world just how unjust and broken the international tax system is. To build the trust and legitimacy of this initiative, a ‘tax summit’ should bring all countries, representatives from civil society, business leaders, and other experts together to begin shaping its agenda. This summit would be a sign to citizens that they are being represented and listened to.
“Everyone recognizes that tax dodging is terrible for sustainable development; governments try to make up for lost revenue by cutting social programs, like healthcare and schooling, which the poorest depend on most. Meanwhile, the profits of massive corporations and the super-rich sit offshore, protected by skewed and unfair tax laws; this is a recipe for huge economic inequality.
“Ultimately, though, this platform should lead to a much more ambitious set of solutions. Oxfam, along with many other international observers and experts, believes that a global tax body is the best way to end tax havens. We can’t just have an elite club of rich countries making the rules for everyone behind closed doors; instead, a global tax body would allow all countries to be involved in setting the rules in an inclusive, democratic, and legitimate forum.”
The launch date of the global tax platform was revealed at the Fiscal Forum on international tax policy held during the IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings, in which Oxfam International Executive Director Winnie Byanyima participated.
Simon Hernandez-Arthur in Washington, D.C.
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