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Public Services International (PSI) brings together more than 20 million workers, two-thirds of whom are women. PSI is a global trade union federation dedicated to social justice and fighting inequality, promoting human rights and universal access to quality public services for all. Achieving gender equality at the workplace and in society is one of PSI’s main objectives.
States have an obligation to ensure human rights and provide the public services that realize them. For PSI, tax justice is a means of financing quality public services and redistributing wealth and therefore a question of economic, social and gender justice. It is time to build an international corporate tax system based on the public good, instead of national or corporate interests. PSI is a founding member of the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation (ICRICT).
PSI´s work with partners such as the Tax Justice Network, Oxfam, Global Alliance for Tax Justice (GATJ), other trade unions and civil society to challenge the current status quo and propose further reform of the global tax system so that all countries are involved on an equal footing. These reforms should effectively tackle harmful tax practices such as profit shifting and the use of corporate tax havens and should halt the race to the bottom in general corporate tax rates.
The gap between the rich and the rest of us is growing rapidly, while inequality is rising both between and inside countries. In many countries, the richest 1% pay less tax than everyone else. Profitable multinational corporations use loopholes and tax havens to avoid paying their share. A taxation system based on fairness and the ability to pay is the first step in reversing this attack on the middle class.
PSI is demanding:
Oxfam’s latest report (January 2016) indicates that:
Challenging corporate power and demanding tax justice are key components in the struggle for economic and gender justice worldwide and require building a global coalition, capable of the mobilization of unions and social movements, including women’s rights and gender equality advocates at local, national and global level.
The answer to the major public finance questions are political and not merely technical. When debates about tax are unnecessarily complicated they exclude workers and the community from fully understanding the implications and participating in that very debate. Ensuring women’s and gender perspectives as part of the tax debate strengthens the movement for tax justice and empowers women to have influence in the tax debate. Ensuring women trade union leaders are empowered with the necessary knowledge about tax and other economic issues strengthens unions and women’s leadership within them.
Presentations and resources for download:
 Ana Abelenda is Program Coordinator on Economic Justice at the Association for Women’s Rights in Development (AWID).