Oxfam and public petition appeal to Enda Kenny to play role in creating fairer global tax system

A petition signed by 3,520 people from across the State has been sent to Leinster House calling on the Taoiseach to attend the UN’s Financing for Development conference in Ethiopia next month.

Tax campaigners from Oxfam Ireland also brought a giant boarding pass to Government buildings, asking that Enda Kenny play a role in the creation of a fairer global tax system.

UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon has called on world leaders to attend the conference in Addis Ababa where member states will discuss how to pay for the plans laid out in the Sustainable Development Goals. However, the Taoiseach has not yet confirmed whether he will take part.

The new Sustainable Development Goals will replace the Millennium Development Goals – eight targets introduced in 2000 aimed at halving extreme poverty and hunger, achieving universal primary education, and halting the spread of HIV/Aids by 2015.

Christine McCartney from Oxfam Ireland says the financing for development talks will offer a “once-in-a-decade opportunity” to end “corporate tax dodging” and create a “fairer international tax system”.

However, she warns this will only happen if governments send their most senior representatives to Ethiopia and make a clear commitment to championing fair taxes.

The 3,520 signatures were collected over a period of four weeks as part of Oxfam’s Even it Up campaign which is calling on nations to reform their tax systems and demanding increased spending on public health and education.

Global inequality

A report released by Oxfam earlier this year found that if current trends of global inequality continue, the richest 1 per cent of people in the world will own more than 50 per cent of the world’s wealth by 2016.

“For far too long rich countries have let big companies run rings around tax rules while poor countries haven’t even had a seat at the table when tax reforms are discussed,” said Ms McCartney.

“If corporations paid tax where they make profits, then governments would raise revenues for public services, like schools and hospitals, which are vital in helping the world’s poorest escape poverty and tackle inequality.”

Source: The Irish Times

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