A global tax justice movement rises: The new fight to end inequality

The world’s largest non-governmental organizations, labour and faith groups are “putting world leaders on notice – members of civil society are uniting for tax justice everywhere.”

Canadians for Tax Fairness has been a member since its inception of the Tax Justice Network and is a founding member of the new Global Alliance for Tax Justice, that brings together national tax justice groups from over 40 countries. 

The movement is rapidly gathering strength to press shared demands for tax justice and accountability in public spending for the common good.  The growing coalition released its pledge The Fair Share Commitment in connection with World Public Services Day (23 June). The statement, signed to date by more than 230 organizations, highlights the anger felt across civil society about the failure of corporations and the world’s rich to pay their fair share in taxes, and the urgent need for tax justice.

Groups who’ve pledged to advance joint campaign initiatives include the Global Alliance for Tax Justice, the Council of Global Unions, ActionAid, Oxfam, Jubilee South, Latindadd, Global Witness, Tax Justice Network Africa, ChristianAid, Attac, War on Want, and many more (see www.gatj.org).

Following the recent tax haven exposé by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists, G8 discussions on fixing broken tax systems, and mounting civil unrest in places such as Brazil over unfair taxation and misuse of tax revenues, tax has ceased to be a technical issue and is now a global political concern that elected leaders ignore at their peril.

All countries need tax revenue in order to reduce poverty and inequality by funding vital public services such as healthcare and education. There is increasing understanding that tax dodging by big corporations undermines public spending, and that the same actors and unsustainable ideologies are at work in both developed and developing countries.

The campaign call for joint mobilization emphasizes that: 

  • People around the world, from the south to the north, are raising their voices in a united demand: it’s time for tax justice.
  • Tax justice must be put into action to end poverty, inequality and climate change.
  • Multinational corporations, financiers and the very rich must pay their fair share of taxes.
  • National and international systems that support tax avoidance and tax havens must be stopped.
  • Governments must enforce fair, progressive, transparent and sufficiently resourced tax administrations.
  • It’s time for the people of every country to receive our fair share in public services and social protection. 

Working together across borders, partners in the new global tax justice movement are fighting  to end tax havens, tax avoidance and corruption, and to bring in progressive tax systems that are enforced, including financial transactions taxes that curb speculation.