With tax justice, we can end poverty and inequality

19 June, 2014
Source: 
PSI
PSI Korean affiliates KGEU at a protest rally in 2013
World Public Services Day - 23 June 2014

From the south to the north, Public Services International affiliate unions are working together across borders to end tax havens, tax avoidance and corruption, and to bring in progressive tax systems that are properly resourced and enforced. Tax justice enables public spending for the common good, and provides the means for economic self-sufficiency for municipal, regional and national governments.

PSI General Secretary Rosa Pavanelli says: “Tax justice is about social justice and fighting inequality. Tax justice is about redistributing wealth by funding the vital public services such as health and education that help end poverty and inequality. Reforming national, regional and international tax systems and removing counter-productive tax incentives will lead to substantially increased budgets for countries to finance the post-2015 agenda and pay for improved public services including education, healthcare, clean water and sanitation, energy, housing, transportation, and development initiatives.”
 
“PSI urges all of our affiliates to call on their respective governments to ensure that corporations pay their fair share of tax on their economic activity that takes place within national and regional jurisdictions. Whether companies are extracting oil, gas or minerals, setting up factories, or selling goods or services, people are deprived of their basic needs and human rights if we don’t ensure that corporations pay their fair share of taxes. This also means addressing race-to-the-bottom tax incentives and tax competition policies on a regional basis.

Pavanelli emphasises that, “We are committed to working with trade unions and civil society partners to achieve tax justice. The best way to ensure that our governments can set the agenda for improving public services and sustainable development is to mobilize domestic resources through a strong progressive tax base.”

The United Nations designated the annual World Public Services Day on 23 June to “honour those who accept the responsibilities of service to humanity and who contribute to excellence and innovation in public service institutions.”  

Pavanelli notes, however, that: “We cannot support the fact that the 2014 UN ceremony marking this day will be held in South Korea, where the rights of public services workers are systematically violated, and where the government refuses to pay heed to ILO Conventions and Recommendations.  The sad irony is that the host for this event is a government which is actually dismantling public services.”

Please email PSIWebUpdates@world-psi.org if your union is planning any special events to mark World Public Services Day on 23 June this year, so we can promote your news and photos.

Download Statement (PDF) and listen to a RadioLabour interview of PSI General Secretary Rosa Pavanelli explaining the issues.

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