Tough tax talk from Kim and Lagarde, but concrete proposals still missing
Reacting to the remarks this morning by President Jim Kim of the World Bank and Christine Lagarde, the International Monetary Fund’s managing director at the Spring Meetings in Washington, D.C., Chris Stalker, acting head of Oxfam International’s Washington office said:
“It’s great to hear tough talk from both Jim Kim and Christine Lagarde on ending tax havens. As Kim put it, tax evasion has a ‘tremendously negative effect’ on the fight to end poverty. We’ve seen this happen time and time again: when the richest fail to pay their fair share, the budgets for education, health, and other social services that the poorest depend on, are the first to get slashed.
“As we said earlier this week, we need tax reform that goes beyond BEPS, and Lagarde echoed that today by calling it ‘unfinished business.’ Government ministers should listen to her call for greater and broader international cooperation to end tax evasion and deliver. There is no time like the present; by the end of these meetings, we fully expect concrete proposals for how to end the era of tax havens.
“Oxfam's report on Monday showed how much of the Bank's private lending is going to companies using tax havens. Given that, we would have liked to hear from Kim what steps the Bank can take to prevent potential tax cheating by their clients."
BEPS are measures aimed to tackle aggressive tax avoidance by multinational companies, known as Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS). While the measures are a tax milestone, they poorly represent the critical needs of developing countries, Oxfam warned at the time of their endorsement.
Oxfam experts on a range of issues including tax, gender inequality, and land and environmental safeguards, are available for interview and briefings throughout the Spring Meetings.
Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International, is in Washington and available for interviews.
Simon Hernandez-Arthur in Washington, D.C.
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