0
0
0
s2smodern

The Tax Justice & Poverty research project

In 2010 the Jesuitenmission in Nuremberg got in touch with the Jesuits in Africa and Madagascar (JESAM): We agreed that we should no confine ourselves to do FOR Africa, but start to do things WITH Africans at eye level. And by that, not only editing books and organizing conferences, but to cooperate in a research and advocacy project of “mutual interest”. Hence, we decided to inquire into the link between (the lack of) Tax Justice and Poverty in our three countries.

From 2012-2017, staff of the Jesuitenmission, the Jesuit Centre for Theological Reflection (Lusaka) and the Jesuit Hakimani Centre (Nairobi) read research reports, conducted expert interviews and consulted Catholic Social Teaching: On March 19, 2018 we published our results.

Looking at our very different countries, there are surprising similarities: Income and wealth inequality are on the increase, the top 1% of wealth holder influence political decisions via lobbyism, personal “entanglement” or corruption, tax authorities are ignorant about the dimension of asset ownership and therefore unable to tax in accordance with the Principle of Ability to Pay and they are understaffed and overworked. The tax burden is disproportionate on the shoulder of the poor and the middle class, states do not have enough resources for adequate public investment and services.

A difference is that wealthy countries profit from the situation: Money leaving developing countries via Illicit Financial Flows, aggressive tax avoidance, tax evasion, corruption etc. passes through Offshore Jurisdictions, is wrapped in secrecy via shell companies, trusts and foundations and continues to developed countries, Germany included, where it then is profitably invested. Not surprising, that developed countries dominate the global “tax architecture” via the OECD and refuse, for example, to increase the role of UN institutions. Not surprising, too, that those countries profiting a lot from this system try to delay, water down or even veto any proposals which would increase transparency, enforcement and a fairer burden-sharing.

If African countries were able to prevent illicit and illegal outflows and to tax that which is being produced in their countries, they would no longer need developmental aid. And: Many decades after political independence they could gain financial independence.

Therefore: Developed countries are called to assist developing countries with the exchange of information and the support of tax administrations by improving their equipment and training.

Last not least: Our research came to the conclusion that taxation, tax related instruments and institutions are a prime tool to advance change away from the present neoliberal philosophy towards a society aiming for the Common Good of All.

 

Find here the Short Version of our Synthesis Report.
Find detailed information on the Project Website http://www.taxjustice-and-poverty.org/

0
0
0
s2smodern