Tax Pays for Education! GCE supports the Global Week of Action on #TaxJustice for #PublicServices

This year the Global Campaign for Education is proud to support the Global Week of Action on Tax Justice for Public Services (19-23 June 2017), as part of its work to ensure adequate financing for quality, inclusive and equitable public education.

Tax is fundamental to providing public services, in every part of the world, and without sufficient tax revenues to fuel government budgets, it stands to reason that education, healthcare, housing, sanitation and many other services will suffer. However, every year developing countries lose US$160 billion of tax revenue due to tax evasion by multinational corporations – considerably more than they receive in aid. This is compounded by aggressive tax policies, abusive tax practices, and tax holidays, which mean many wealthy elites and corporations are allowed to get away with not paying their fair share of tax. Every penny that is lost in taxation could have been invested in public services – including more teachers, and more safe and inclusive schools.

An estimated US$67 billion is needed annually to send every child to school and to deliver adult education programmes. Universal literacy – which is the gateway to every individual’s ability to realise their human rights, and to the development of safe and prosperous communities – IS affordable. At the same time, it is an amount which needs to be found each year; there is no one-of injection of cash which can ‘fix’ the education crisis. No country wants to be reliant on international aid or on loans to provide its public services. The only sustainable solution is revenue from tax.

The Global Campaign for Education firmly believes that the international community must focus its efforts to finance education and other public services on agreeing new international rules to promote global tax transparency and prevent tax avoidance. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) must also ensure it uses its influence on tax policies in low- and lower-middle income countries to support countries to raise their tax revenues, while easing the tax burden on communities living in poverty. Developing countries must also have access to multinational companies’ accounts to scrutinise and assess tax liability and ensure that companies pay due taxes.

GCE also supports the call for the establishment of an intergovernmental UN Global Tax Body, and a UN convention to combat abusive tax practices. A global partnership between developing and developed nations, convened by the UN, could begin to reverse the losses and close the loopholes.

If governments are serious about delivering the full sustainable development agenda by 2030, then they need to serious about paying for it. There is no more sustainable or accessible way to do this than tax.

Take action

You can promote the #TaxJustice for #PublicServices Global Week of Action by sharing information about the campaign in English or in Spanish, on Twitter or on Facebook.

You can also take part in the photo action to demand governments deliver #TaxJustice for #PublicServices. Post ‘Multinationals, pay your share!’ photos on social media with the campaign hashtags. Remember to tag politicians!

What’s happening around the world?

Activists around the world are taking part in the Global Week of Action on Tax Justice for Public Services, ranging from Oxfam in Brazil organising a round table as part of the Pay Your Share campaign, with public mobilisation activities being delivered in Sao Paulo by trade unions and NGOs, to ActionAid across Africa delivering campaigns on tax justice for women’s rights and quality education. For more information please see the campaign websites in English and Spanish.

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