An Asian civil society group called on governments in the region on Thursday, September 23, to reject a “tax deal of the rich.”
The proposal, formulated by financial leaders from the Group of 7 countries, aims to overhaul international tax laws and supposedly stop large multinational companies from seeking out tax havens and force them to pay more of their income to governments.
The world’s financial leaders have earlier agreed to support a new global minimum tax rate of at least 15 percent that companies have to pay regardless of where they locate their headquarters.
The Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD), however, said it is imperative “to strongly reject this ‘tax deal of the rich’ and rebuild our broken tax and fiscal systems to make them work for people and the planet.”
The group said it can only be done under the auspices of “genuinely inclusive, democratic, transparent, accountable and transformative governance mechanisms.”
The movement warned of an “alarming trend toward reduced taxation of corporate profits and more generous tax breaks and fiscal incentives for multinational corporations.”
“In the global battle to transform tax policy, we face the menacing threat of a ‘tax deal of the rich’ that will only benefit rich countries, [multinational corporations] and the global elite, with devastating consequences for the poor,” read an APMDD statement.
The movement’s member organizations in Manila held a demonstration on Thursday to dramatize their call to adopt tax and fiscal policies “that serve to reduce inequalities and enable the realization of human rights and sustainable development.”
The groups urged governments in the region to “build inclusive, transformative and sustainable economies that genuinely serve the needs, interests, and futures of people and the planet.”
They called for the rejection of the global tax deal and other initiatives “that reinforce inequalities in decision-making around global tax rules or serve only the interests of multinational corporations and a few elite countries.”
“Failing to heed the painful lessons of the pandemic, international financial institutions as well as many governments in the Global North and South continue to pursue the same neoliberal agendas that have privileged the interests of multinational corporations,” read the groups’ statement.
“Their policies have thus prioritized profits over people and the planet, and have caused the failure of public services that has led to more deaths and pandemic casualties,” it added.
The Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development urged its members, partners, and all tax justice advocates “to scale up campaigning to push for national and global tax justice demands.”