Asian movements join global call for tax justice
Calling for the funding for public services and the stopping of tax incentives and dodging, an Asian civil society alliance unites with the world’s largest labor, faith and other organizations today in celebration of World Public Services Day.
On World Public Services Day
MANILA and DHAKA, 23 June 2015 – Calling for the funding for public services and the stopping of tax incentives and dodging, an Asian civil society alliance unites with the world’s largest labor, faith and other organizations today in celebration of World Public Services Day.
“Tax policies and systems should be aimed at raising resources for people’s basic and development needs, not as instrumental for ensuring more profits for corporations and the wealthy,” said Lidy Nacpil, coordinator of the Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD), in a statement.
“Today, we claim the resources that are rightfully ours to support urgent needs for food, health, water, energy, climate adaptation and other social services vital to our well-being and the enjoyment of our basic rights. We demand tax justice as a key requisite to our survival, a life of dignity and a humane and sustainable future,” she added.
World Public Services Day is the culmination of the Global Week of Action for Tax Justice, led by the Global Alliance for Tax Justice and its regional network members, including APMDD. It kicked off with a rally last Tuesday, June 16, at the United Nations in New York, as the final round of UN development financing negotiations began. National actions have been organized around the world.
In solidarity, APMDD and its Philippine member organization Freedom from Debt Coalition (FDC) signed the Lima Declaration on Tax Justice and Human Rights. They also co-organized with other groups today a whole-day public forum on the state of public services and human rights in Manila, Philippines.
FDC also held protests against the water company Maynilad’s corporate income tax dodging last Tuesday, and against the MRT and LRT’s price hike last Wednesday.
“Successive administrations – including this government – have consistently prioritized in its annual spending automatic debt servicing, which eats up a huge chunk of the annual budget at the expense of the people’s needs and welfare,” said Sammy Gamboa, FDC secretary-general.
In Bangladesh, representatives of 20 farmer, laborer and rights groups formed a human chain in front of the National Press Club in Dhaka last Sunday. They demanded an increase in the allocation for the public services sector, and urged the Bangladeshi government to stop illicit capital flight and corruption before spreading the tax net.
The organizations will also hand over today an open letter to Members of Parliament through a press conference in Dhaka, said Rezaul Karim Chowdhury of equityBD, an APMDD member organization which co-organized the human chain along with Jatiyo Sramik Jote and Bangladesh Krishok Federation.