Moren than 40 European NGOs write to their respective Ministers of Finance and to the European Commission to call for a strong outcome of the upcoming EU negotiations on public country by country reporting for multinational corporations under the Shareholders Rights Directive.ÂÂ Ending the secrecy surrounding the tax payments and economic activities of multinational corporations is a crucial step towards re-establishing public trust in our tax system. By requiring multinational corporations to report publicly on key financial data on a country by country basis, governments will also dramatically increase the incentive for these corporations to pay their taxes in the jurisdictions where the economic activity takes place and value is created. This is not only key to achieving financial stability and development in Europe, but also in the world’s poorest countries, where corporate tax avoidance is strongly undermining sustainable development and the fight against poverty, public country-by-country reporting is the most cost effective and efficient way of ensuring they have timely and low-cost access to this crucial information. Public country by country reporting will also help flag up corruption risks by shedding light on any special arrangements between companies and governments.
Tax avoidance and evasion represent a systemic drain on government revenues needed for the fulfillment of women’s rights and gender equality. Switzerland – arguably the world’s most important tax haven — may soon face scrutiny from the United Nations human rights system over its role in facilitating cross-border tax abuse. The Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) — the UN body mandated to oversee compliance with governments’ legal obligations related to women’s human rights — will meet on March 7 – 11 in Geneva to identify the list of issues on which Switzerland’s review before the treaty body will focus later this year. In a joint submission, the Center for Economic and Social Rights (CESR), the Global Justice Clinic at New York University School of Law, the Tax Justice Network (TJN) and Berne Declaration have asked CEDAW to examine the extra-territorial impacts of Switzerland’s opaque financial legislation on women’s rights and gender equality, particularly in developing countries. (Center for Economic and Social Rights et al.)
"Governments should be able to change their tax systems to ensure multinationals pay their fair share and to ensure that critical public services are well funded. States must also be able to reconsider and withdraw tax breaks previously granted to multinationals if they no longer fit with national priorities. But their ability to do so, to change tax laws and pursue progressive tax policies, is limited, thanks to trade and investments agreements", says a new briefing paper by Claire Provost for transnational institute and Global Justice Now. The system of investor to state dispute settlement (ISDS) has become increasingly controversial during the negotiations over the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Because control over taxes is seen as core to a country’s sovereignty, many states have included tax-related ‘carve-out’ clauses in these trade and investment treaties to limit ability of corporations and other investors to sue over such disputes. But a growing number of investor-state cases have in fact challenged government tax decisions – from the withdrawal of previously granted tax breaks to multinationals to the imposition of higher taxes on profits from oil and mining. (Transnational Institute/Global Justice Now)
The BEPS Monitoring Group, a network of specialists concerned with the effects of international taxation on development and the reform of the international system for the taxation of transnational corporations, has recently published their General Evaluation of the BEPS Project outputs. While acknowledging the importance of the results as a first step towards a better taxation system, the report highlights a range of shortcomings. The proposals do not suggest treating multinational enterprises as a single firm, instead they emphasize the independent entity principle. Other proposals, such as the access to country by country reporting, contain unnecessary obstacles where publication would have been an easier solution. The proposals are a patch-up of existing rules, not a coherent and comprehensive set of reforms. The BEPS has, however, succeeded in opening space for more far-reaching changes.
Malawi, the poorest country in the world, has lost out on US$43 million in revenue over the last six years, from a single company – the Australian mining company Paladin. The money has been lost through a combination of harmful tax incentives from the Malawian government and tax planning using treaty shopping by Paladin. What has happened is not illegal – on the contrary, the combination of tax breaks and tax planning that has resulted in this loss of crucial funds is a result of Malawian and international laws, treaties and agreements. People around the world are outraged that companies get away with paying less tax while the rest of us contribute our fair share. A new report published by ActionAid shows how governments and international tax rules allow this to happen. (ActionAid)
The European Commission has issued its new action plan entitled A fairer corporate tax system in the EU today. Europe’s trade unions support a fairer and more efficient corporate tax regime addressing tax avoidance which is robbing societies of billions of Euros to finance public services and social protection and to redistribute wealth and income. But the Commission’s plans lack clear actions. (EPSU, ETUC)
The recently published declaration by ICRICT (Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation) argues that the current tax system has become obsolete as a result of globalization and the changing world economy. ICRICT states that an adjustment of the tax system is indispensable and that the efforts by OECD are not sufficient. The commission therefore aims to push governments around the world to take action. The declaration presents a set of principles and recommendations for reform. One key recommendation is to abolish the separate entity principle which is considered to be the fundamental problem of the current tax system. ICRICT recommends to treat multinational corporations as single and unified firms and to divide the taxable profits between the countries where the income generating activities are located. (ICRICT)
At their forthcoming summit in Germany, G7 leaders will meet some of their African counterparts to discuss how they can support economic growth and sustainable development in Africa. According to a recent report published by Oxfam International, the continent has enjoyed a recent economic boom but the rich world is reaping the rewards of this growth, as billions of dollars a year flow out of Africa. This is depriving it of vital revenue that could enable it to fund healthcare and education for all, and invest at scale in sustainable agriculture. The report states that in 2010 alone, G7-based companies and investors cheated Africa out of an estimated $US6bn through just one form of tax dodging –trade mispricing. (Oxfam International)
Responding to widespread anger about corporate tax avoidance, the impacts of such avoidance on inequality and poverty, and concerns that current tax reform processes are inadequate, a new nonpartisan body, the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation (ICRICT), has been established to propose reforms from the perspective of the public interest. ICRICT was initiated by a broad coalition that includes Action Aid, Alliance-Sud, CCFD-Terre Solidaire, Christian Aid, the Council for Global Unions, the Global Alliance for Tax Justice, Oxfam, Public Services International, Tax Justice Network and the World Council of Churches and is supported by Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung. (Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation)
Several European NGOs are urging Jean-Claude Juncker, President oft he European Commission, to step up the ambition level for a comprehensive tax reform package for the EU. Several scandals have recently shaken the continent and shown that EU members are damaging themselves and one another with unfair and divisive tax policies. Furthermore, EU policies and positions are making it difficult for countries in the Global South to raise urgently needed resources to fund the realization of human rights. To this end, the organizations are calling for a set of concrete policy reforms that could be enacted and supported by the EU.
A new report "Unhappy Meal: €1 Billion in Tax Avoidance on the Menu at McDonald's" by EFFAT, EPSU, SEIU and War on Want outlines in detail what the authors call tax avoidance strategies adopted by McDonald’s and their tax impact both throughout Europe and in major markets like France, Italy, Spain and the U.K. The practice, the coalition says, essentially consisted of moving the European headquarters from the UK to Switzerland as well as using intra-group royalty payments and channeling them into a tiny Luxembourg based subsidiary with a Swiss branch. Between 2009 and 2013, the Luxembourg-based structure, which employs 13 people, registered a cumulative revenue of €3,7 billion, on which it reported a meager €16 million in tax. (European Federation of Public Service Unions)
Global wealth is increasingly concentrated in the hands of a small wealthy elite. These wealthy individuals have generated and sustained their vast riches through their interests and activities in a few important economic sectors, including finance and insurance and pharmaceuticals and healthcare. Companies from these sectors spend millions of dollars every year on lobbying to create a policy environment that protects and enhances their interests further. The most prolific lobbying activities in the US are on budget and tax issues; public resources that should be directed to benefit the whole population, rather than reflect the interests of powerful lobbyists. This briefing explains Oxfam’s methodology and data sources and updates key inequality statistics, such as Oxfam’s frequently cited fact in 2014: ‘85 billionaires have the same wealth as the bottom half of the world’s population.' (Oxfam International)
Washington based think tank Global Financial Integrity has launched its latest edition of “Illicit Financial Flows from the Developing World: 2003-2012.” The study finds that developing and emerging economies lost US$6.6 trillion in illicit financial flows from 2003ÂÂ throughÂÂ 2012, with illicit outflows increasing at an staggering average rate of 9.4ÂÂ percent per year—roughly twice as fast as global GDP. This study is GFI’s 2014 annual global update on illicit financial flows from developing economies, and it isÂÂ the fifth annual update of GFI’s 2008 report, “Illicit Financial Flows from Developing Countries 2002-2006.” This is the first report to include estimates of illicit financial flows from developing countries in 2012—which the study pegs at US$991.2 billion (Global Financial Integrity).
Based on a review of 28,000 pages of leaked documents the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists and a team of more than 80 journalists from 26 countries say, international companies such as IKEA, FedEx, Pepsi and Procter & Gamble had channeled hundreds of billions of dollars through Luxembourg and slashed billions from their global tax bills. The leaked documents come from Pricewaterhouse Coopers in Luxembourg and include hundreds of private tax rulings – or so-called “comfort letters” – that Luxembourg provides to corporations seeking favorable tax treatment. The leak comes after months of Luxembourg refusing to supply information about its tax rulings to the EU to support investigations into whether Luxembourg’s tax deals with Amazon and Fiat Finance were in violation of EU law.
Going Offshore: How development finance institutions support the private sector through tax havens (November 4, 2014)
Developing countries lose billions of dollars every year through tax avoidanceÂÂ and evasion. Tax havens play a pivotal role in this by providing low or no taxationÂÂ and by promising secrecy, allowing businesses to dodge taxes and remain largelyÂÂ unaccountable for their actions. Development Finance Institutions (DFIs) are government-controlled institutions that, as this reportÂÂ shows, often support private sector projects that are routed through tax havens, using scarce publicÂÂ money. By supporting projects in this way, DFIs are helping to reinforce the offshore industry asÂÂ they are providing income and legitimacy. Eurodad’s latest report “Going Offshore” looks not only at DFIs’ use of taxÂÂ havens, but also at their standards when deciding where to channel their money. It also looks atÂÂ the level of due diligence and portfolio transparency of these institutions as a way to assess civilÂÂ society’s ability to hold them to account.
The long struggle of governments to combat tax evasion and avoidance by multinational enterprises continues unabated. However, if the most recent developments in negotiations around the OECD’s anti-BEPS project and discussions concerning the upcoming G20 summit in Australia in November are any indication, it does not look as if any significant progress will be made to turn the tide of tax abuse – at least not in the near future. Indeed, more entrenched problems, such as tax competition among countries (leading to ever lower taxation rates) and the disadvantages faced by developing countries under the current international tax regime are yet to be addressed. In his article below, WEED’s Markus Henn discusses these issues and provides a critical overview of the anti-BEPS actions that have been proposed by the OECD so far
The Great Rip Off: Anonymous company owners and the threat to American interests (September 25, 2014)
Owners of anonymous companies registered in U.S. states are ripping off innocent people and businesses across America, says a new report by Global Witness. Drawing on 22 cases involving anonymous companies from 27 states, The Great Rip Off shows how fraudsters, mobsters, money-launderers, tax-evaders and corrupt politicians are able to use anonymously-owned American companies to cover their tracks and evade the authorities. (Global Witness)
A coalition of 33 European civil society organizations, Global Policy Forumamong them, recently submitted a critical contribution to the ‘European Commission's consultation regarding the potential economic consequences of country-by-country reporting’ (CBCR) under the so-called Capital Requirements Directive IV. The purpose of the consultation is to collect information and obtain input from all interested stakeholders on the potential economic consequences of public disclosure by banks and investment firms of CBCR information. It aims to highlight in particular the effects of CBCR on competitiveness, investment and credit availability, and the stability of the financial system. Overall, the coalition argues that CBCR will have a positive impact on the economy, though they maintain that improvements should still be made.
ActionAid UK has released a report that outlines why the OECD’s base erosion and profit sharing (BEPS) project, which aims to put a halt to taxÂÂ dodging, will not work to the benefit of poor countries. Three reasons for this are identified: BEPS sidesteps many important issues for poor countries, developing countries are not part of the negotiations around new international tax rules, and the proposed BEPS solutions are weak and in many cases impractical. This report comes in the wake of the OECD’s launch of the 2014 BEPS deliverables as part of its Action Plan on BEPS, which has achieved little by way of addressing the tax reform needs of developing countries. (actionaid)
More than 1 million companies are incorporated in Delaware, which is more than the actual number of living residents. That number includes 50% of all publicly-traded companies in the U.S. and 64% of the Fortune 500. This is no accident; Delaware law grants attractive tax arrangements and other measures that attract businesses to incorporate there. These measures have paid off – in 2011 alone, Delaware collected roughly $860 million in taxes and fees from these companies – about a quarter of the state’s total budget.ÂÂ But there’s a shadow side to Delaware’s status as an incorporation hub. Around the world, drug dealers, dictators and arms dealers use networks of shell companies with hidden ownership to launder their ill-gotten gains and evade authorities – allowing them to cause harm to millions of people around the world. "This week, a debate has started in Delaware about its role as a corporate secrecy haven," writes Mark Hays in a Global Witness blog. (Global Witness)
The latest report of the British NGO Christian Aid “Taxing Men and Women: why gender is crucial for a fair tax system” deals with the different effects of tax systems in men and women as well as possibilities how prudent fiscal and tax policy can contribute to gender equality. Whereas a lot of literature exists on the consideration of gender aspects on the spending side of national budgets, this report marks a first step to analyze state revenues with regard to gender equality. Christian Aid provides several recommendations for actors on different levels – civil society organizations, governments and tax authorities in countries of the global south – on how to work towards gender-sensitive tax systems. Furthermore, the authors point to the lack of available data that currently prevents further progress on this issue and to the need of further empirical studies. (Christian Aid)
CSOs protest as European Commission hires PricewaterhouseCoopers to assess corporate transparency (July 02, 2014)
Yesterday, a broad alliance of civil society organizations including Global Policy Forum sent an open letter to the European Commission to protest against the assessment of country by country reporting by PricewaterhouseCoopers. Since PricewaterhauseCoopers - one of the "Big Four" audit firms - is a known opponent of public country by country reporting, letting them assess this crucial tool for preventing corporate tax dodging would be the same logic as to set the fox to guard the henhouse. (Eurodad)
During the current session of the UN Human Rights Council the Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Philip Alston, presented a report by his predecessor Magdalena Sepúlveda Carmona concerning fiscal and tax policy, poverty and human rights. The report stresses the role of fiscal and taxation policy as a major determinant in the enjoyment of human rights and makes some reccommendations how to make the global tax system more effective, equitable and transparent. (UN Specicial Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights)
Global Financial Integrity published a report funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Denmark analyzing the impact of trade misinvoicing on Ghana, Kenya, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Uganda. According to the report, under- and over-invoicing of trade transactions in the period between 2002 and 2011 caused a loss of US$ 14.39 billions in tax revenues in the five Sub-Saharan African countries. This means that governments lose a huge amount of their annual budget which could otherwise be spend on education, health services or infrastructure projects desperately needed in these countries. Following an estimation of the scope of this fraudulent behavior, the report also analyzes the policy environment in each country and gives country specific policy recommendations. (Global Financial Integrity)
A new report by Tax Justice Network-Africa and Christian Aid asks who benefits after a decade of economic growth in Sub-Saharan Africa. Despite increasing economic prosperity and some positive achievements in poverty reduction too many Sub-Sahara African countries undergo sharp rising income inequality. The report examines eight countries and whether they experiences rising inequalities. By looking at this, the researchers underline the primary importance of the relationship between national tax systems and international taxation issues in redistributing wealth. It is a challenge for governments to recognize the levels of inequalities as huge concerns and to impose effective taxes on income and property. Precisely because, as the report finds out, rising income inequality come along with the current growth model and illicit financial flows from the continent. (Righting Finance)
On May 2nd Oxfam released the report ‘Business among Friends’ critically assessing the OECD-led ‘Action Plan on Base Erosion and Profit Shifting’ (BEPS). The negative implications of tax evasion and profit shifting for development are increasingly acknowledged among political leaders and international organizations. The amount that governments in the Global South lose annually due to illicit financial transfers but also legal means of tax evasion easily outnumbers the amount they receive in form of Official Development Aid (ODA). Nevertheless, developing countries are not involved in the process of reforming the global tax system, according to the authors. Instead, business interests dominate the negotiations. As a result, OECD-members and multinational corporations will likely benefit from BEPS at the expense of developing countries. (Oxfam)
A recently published book adds further insights into the political economy of offshore jurisdictions. It raises questions about why offshore has been off-limits for serious political discussion for so many decades. What is the importance of the offshore economy? Is online Gambling a Game Changer to Money Laundering? What is the rationale behind the Secrecy Index of Tax Justice Network? How does Automatic Tax Information Exchange work? Is Austria a tax haven? With which ideology and with which narratives was it possible to avoid public discussions about the offshore economy? Which were the effects of “offshore leaks” in the spring 2013? (Walter Otto Ötsch, Gerd Görzinger, Karl Michael Beyer, Lars Bräutigam (EDS.))
The Tax Justice Network has released its latest newsletter - this time a special edition on Country by Country reporting edited by Richard Murphy, whom you might call the godfather of this accounting idea. He has brought together different authors from the OECD, the Confederation of British Industry, from Global Witness and Eurodad. Together they present a unique picture of the current state of the campaign for country-by-country reporting throughout the world. (Tax Justice Network)
The OECD has published a report on a new global standard for countries and tax havens to exchange information with each other: a crucial tool for tackling offshore secrecy and tax evasion. The report represents significant progress by endorsing a principle that civil society organisations have been demanding for many years, and which has now been endorsed by the G20 finance ministers. In reaction to the report by the OECD, Tax Justice Network (TJN) publishes an analytic response on whether the OECD's new standard is indeedd a watershed moment. The OECD report, which focusses especially on due dilligence checks, a crucial element in any transparency regime, seems to have many positive details. Yet, TJN says,ÂÂ there are a number of shortcomings in the report, too: some technical, and some political. (Tax Justice Network)
On November 21st the sixth meeting of the OECD Global Forum on Transparency and Exchange of Information for Tax Purposes is opened in Jakarta. On this occasion, a broad coalition of organizations, including GPF, has issued a position paper on Automatic Information Exchange (AIE) for tax purposses. If a person or entity resident in one jurisdiction owns income-generating assets in another jurisdiction, the resident's tax authorities generally need to know about that asset or income, to assess their tax liabities. To obtain that kind of information, countries and jurisdictions have entered into information exchange agreements. After this year's G20 meeting, a standard for the information exchange to happen automaticly is taking shape. The position paper examines the current situation and emphasizes the challenges developing countries face in participation in AIE, the options for meeting these challenges, and the risks of not addressing the integration of developing countries at the start of this process.
If a person or entity resident in one jurisdiction owns income-generating assets in another jurisdiction, the resident's tax authorities generally need to know about that asset or income, to assess their tax liabities. Nevertheless jurisdictions so far lack the ability to exchange information with each other on a regular basis. After the G20 Summit this year, automatic tax information sharing will soon become an international standard. But Switzerland insists on the most restrictive possible conditions when it comes to implementation – to the clear disadvantage of developing countries. (alliance sud)
The tax structure and the level of revenue collection, budget allocations and expenditure influence the ability of governments to fulfill their human rights obligations and tackle discrimination and structural inequalities. The UN Special Rapporteur on extreme poverty and human rights, Magdalena Sepúlveda Carmona, is preparing to submit a report concerning fiscal and tax policy, poverty and human rights. Governments have been asked to respond the questionnaire prepared by the Special Rapporteur in order to gather information on domestic fiscal and spending policies, in particular their impact on disadvantaged and vulnerable groups in society. The Special Rapporteur will compile different inputs on a report which will include policy recommendations to States and provide a framework for monitoring States’ compliance with human rights obligations. You can contribute to the design and impact of this report. (Social Watch)
Prof. Leonor Magtolis-Briones from Social Watch Philippines gives three reasons why the Philippines 2014 national budget is prone to misuse. Social Watch Philippines analyses the government’s annual spending budgets and releases alternative budgets through its Alternative Budget Initiative to influence the national budgets to become more supportive in creating a sustainable environment and more equitable society for the Philippines. The following is an edited version of a piece originally entitled Speaking for Myself: The 2014 National Budget, Special Purpose Funds, Pork Barrel, at Iba Pa.
At the level of the European Union a new anti-money laundering directive is currently under way. German NGO World Economy, Ecology and Developmet (WEED) has recently taken up the issue in a factsheet and focusses on the situation in Germany specifically. Contrary to popular perception, Germany is a popular destination for money laundering activities. Being a liquid market with high cash flow makes the country attractive while also complicating the monitoring of financial flows. Its central location between Eastern and Western Europe makes Germany an ideal trading center. Regulatory weaknesses amplify the problem. (WEED)
The Human Rights Institut of the International Bar Association (IBAHRI) launched a new report adressing tax abuse from the perspective of human rights law and policies. The report, compilated by an expert task force, offers new insights into the links between tax abuses, poverty and human rights. This report analyses the responsibilities and remedies to counter tax abuse and delivers specific recommendations for states, businesses and the legal profession. (IBAHRI)
Campaigners of 34 organizations such as Christian Aid, ActionAid International, Oxfam, the Global Alliance for Tax Justice, Tax Justice Network have endorsed a briefing on the fight against tax dodging. In their statement from 31st August they forcefully warn the members of G20 countries' summit meeting in St. Petersburg on 5th and 6th September to declare reforms on the global tax system and make transnational corporations pay their fair share. Moreover the campaigners present concrete reform steps but insist on a participation of developing countries in negotiations.
Switzerland prepares a new law on blocking and returning stolen assets, reports Alliance Sud, the Swiss Alliance of Development Organizations. The new law on returning assets when legal support from the source country is inadequate should be more widely applicable than its predecessor. At the moment the law applies only to states that have no functioning governance. Speeding up the processes lasting years or even decades should also be sped up by legislation.
In a recent report, the British NGO Christian Aid points to the grave problems arising in developing countries when multinational corporations (MNCs) avoid taxes. The ensuing tax losses exacerbate the already difficult situation of the hungry in developing countries as state revenues are diminished. In the report “Who Pays the Price? Hunger: the Hidden Cost of Tax Injustice” Christian Aid digs into the problems caused by tax evasion. The paper provides statistical research on MNCs’ activities in three case study countries, exemplifies tax havens' role by the case of Switzerland and provides recommendations for policy making. In two additional papers the issues are reflected further.
While most of the world’s population was reeling from one of the globe’s multiple crises, social movements and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) gathered at the World Social Forum (WSF) in Tunisia in March of 2013 in search of alternatives. The country where the Arab Spring started in late 2010 was a great choice to host the WSF in 2013. Inspired by the successful campaign to overthrow the autocratic regime of Ben Ali three years ago, Tunisian civil society is amazingly active, highly motivated and convinced that civil society activism can actually make social change happen. By Bodo Ellmers (eurodad)
In our series of papers coming out of the international conference „Tax Justice – Human Rights – Future Justice” in Berlin on the 27th November 2012, we are happy to present the latest edition on „Environmantal tax reform in countries of the South“. The paper ist he ninth in ourÂÂ series of Policy briefs „Info Steuergerechtigkeit“ on issues of tax justice, published in cooperation with the Tax Justice Network Germany.
As of January 2014, the EU could cap banker bonuses to a maximum of one year’s salary, or twice their salary pending shareholder approval. It aims to prevent risky investments, particularly in investment banks that were incentivized through lavish compensation packages. However, the rule initially faced strong opposition from Germany and now the UK, fearing their financial sector would suffer from a competitive disadvantage. Critics feel that EU banks operating abroad could stand to lose employees to their competitors and may need to boost salaries or pension packages to compensate, making them more vulnerable to risk. A look at Deutsche Bank, however, shows that the rule will likely affect less than 1% of all employees and its unclear how foreign operations will be affected. Furthermore, the problem with today’s financial industry is the lack of accountability yet over-dependence of banks on government bailouts that together with sizeable bonuses fosters risky behavior. Thus, without addressing this underlying issue, the bonus cap is unlikely to bring stability. (Spiegel)
A policy brief published by the Tax Justice Network explores how gaps in fiscal tax policy obstruct the realization of human rights by reducing available financial resources. Tax policies enable governments to mobilize resources needed for providing essential public goods and services or help in redistributing the wealth preventing inequality and allowing realization of human rights. Frameworks to assess effective utilization of resources are often weak in quantifying available resources or in determining the causes of low tax revenues. National-level obstacles in tax derived finances can be overcome by fiscal policy reforms, stronger regulatory institutions, although poorer countries are limited by international framework conditions. The report highlights various international agreements that draw important connections between fiscal policy and the realization of economic, social and cultural rights. Greater focus must be placed on using these instruments in addressing global tax evasion, lack of transparency and cooperation between tax authorities (Tax Justice Network Germany).
On January 22nd, a group of 11 EU nations approved a Financial Transaction Tax between 0.01- 0.1% aimed at discouraging risky trading by the financial industry and allow the industry to contribute to tax revenues. Nicknamed the Robin Hood Fund, the FTT can become effective by next year following approval of the final legislation. It can potentially raise £37bn a year in additional revenue that some say should be used towards social development and environmental funds like the Green Climate Fund. Observers including Oxfam, stress the need for directing funds for the poor that were hit the hardest by the crisis, with 2.5 million people now facing unemployment in Europe (Common Dreams).
The Brasilia Conference on Innovative Financing Mechanisms - Report of the Conference in Brasilia, Brazil (July 6-7, 2006)