On 25 and 26 June 2015, REBRIP convened a seminar in Sao Paulo on Fiscal Justice. Both INFID (International NGO Forum on Indonesian Development) and SANI (South African Network on Inequality), partner networks from the ECSN BRICSAM programme were in attendance and made presentations. The seminar focused on the issue of tax evasion of transnational companies (TNCs), and the ongoing debate within the United Nations on the issue of respect for human rights and the need for a binding treaty agreement on human rights obligations for TNCs. INFID was able to present its cross-country study on tax policies in Indonesia, South Africa and Brazil, during the meeting (see following link to view the full study http://csnbricsam.org/tax-policy-and-inequalitycomparative-study/ ).
One central aspect has been the attack on social rights and labour by means of the so-called ¨austerity policies”. Under the label of austerity, we should read the cutting of public services, salaries and the mechanisms that could facilitate an efficient functioning of the State – but never cuts in payments of remuneration of holders of financial assets (such as public debt), of lendings and handouts to large corporations, or the payment of taxes by large companies and the 1% owner of assets and properties.
Some key questions were raised at the seminar: why are these same companies that were saved with public funds from more severe crisis, now fleeing from their obligation to pay taxes? Should we accept cuts of rights and social services simply because we have not been able to confront the power of these corporations and will this contribute to aggravating the concentration of income and wealth in the world, in the hands of very few?
For more on the FULL Program, access International Fiscal Justice Seminar Agenda