Asian alliance joins global call for tax justice
An alliance of people's movements across Asia united with the world's largest civil society groups this week in celebration of the Global Week of Action on Tax Justice.
MANILA, 6 November 2015 – An alliance of people's movements across Asia united with the world's largest civil society groups this week in celebration of the Global Week of Action on Tax Justice.
"It is past time for tax justice. It is past time for corporations to stop abusing our economies and environment, and for governments to stop coddling them at the expense of their people," said Lidy Nacpil, coordinator of the Asian Peoples' Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD).
Recent International Monetary Fund calculations have showed that developing countries are even more affected than rich economies by corporate tax dodging and secrecy. Tax evasion in Asia is valued at $666 billion, or about 21 percent of global tax evasion, according to Ross McGill, managing director at GlobeTax, in another report.
The All Nepal Women Association (ANWA), a member of APMDD and the Asian Fiscal and Tax Justice Alliance (AFTJA), echoed the GlobeTax findings.
:Tax evasion by multinational corporations is rampant in South Asia. A fair and just tax system needs to be in place and spending for quality public services needs to be increased and prioritized to address poverty and inequality in the region," said Sujita Shakya, ANWA secretary, from Kathmandu.
Equity and Justice Working Group Bangladesh (EquityBD), also an APMDD and AFTJA member, called for the reduction of corporate tax and the end for tax incentives.
:While least developed countries (LDCs) confront ever more challenges to their economy post-2015, nation-states scramble to offer all sorts of tax incentives for multinational corporations (MNCs). Reducing corporate tax will only create more poverty and ensure that LDC countries get stuck in that category," said Rezaul Karim Chowdhury, EquityBD chief moderator, from Dhaka.
Indonesia's Solidaritas Perempuan (Women's Solidarity for Human Rights), also with APMDD and AFTJA, highlighted the gender gap in taxation.
:The Indonesian tax system involves various biases against women so they pay more taxes than men. Meanwhile, MNCs get away with lower tax rates and tax incentives. We demand just taxation to finance development and address this inequality," said Puspa Dewy, SP chairperson, from Jakarta.
The Indian Social Action Forum (INSAF), another APMDD and AFTJA member, also demanded tax and fiscal justice, calling out the large illicit financial flows in their country.
:US$35 billion flows out of India illegally every year while at least 250 million Indians fall below the poverty line. The government has to stop this illicit financial practice and such schemes that favor the global companies and some of India's rich and further oppress the poor," said accountant Rakesh Mittal of INSAF.