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Mission impossible: Development without Public Services

18 June 2015
Unemployed person talks to advisors at a job fair
Seven years after the 2008 financial crisis, it is clear that austerity does not work. On the contrary, cutting public spending has only produced more unemployment, poverty and inequality.

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At the same time, bankers, financiers and corporations see their profits boom and much-needed resources for funding public services are hidden in tax havens and tax avoidance schemes.

On the occasion of World Public Service Day, 23 June, Public Services International (PSI) General Secretary Rosa Pavanelli says:

“We all have to pay tax, so why don’t multinationals? PSI, the global trade union movement and our civil society partners are committed to ending the global tax-dodging schemes that rob countries around the world of billions of tax revenues. These very resources could finance quality public services for all, including healthcare, education, water and sanitation, which are vital for social development.”

The labour movement has historically denounced global tax rules that allow multinational companies to avoid paying their fair share - the same multinationals that want to accrue their power by negotiating trade agreements, such as TPP, TTIP and TISA, solely conceived to allow them to make profits above and beyond national regulations.

Rosa Pavanelli continues:

“We are facing challenges of formidable proportion, but 2015 is a historical opportunity to change the current global reality. In mid-July, governments will meet in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, at the Third International Conference on Financing for Development (FFD3), to decide on how to finance development in the coming decades. All countries, from North to South, should have an equal seat at the table when deciding international tax rules, not just the richest ones. PSI is convinced that there cannot be development without public services, therefore we advocate and lobby for the reform of corporate taxation to be at the top of the FFD3 agenda.”

PSI calls on all its affiliates to mobilise and push for a fairer tax system for all. Together we can demand an international tax system that represents the interests of the many, not the few. Together we can demand that our governments challenge tax avoidance schemes, so that countries are better able to provide quality public services for all.

We demand:

  • Global Solutions: An inclusive intergovernmental tax body that co-ordinates tax policy and implementation for the benefit of all;
  • Transparency: The public needs to know about the profits made and taxes paid by companies in each country they operate in;
  • Multinationals Pay Their Fair Share: Multinational corporations with subsidiaries in tax havens that act as single entities, should be taxed as single entities so profits cannot be shifted and taxes avoided ;
  • Fair taxation to fund quality public services: We need fair tax policies to pay for free, universal quality health and education services, to end poverty and reduce inequality, and to fund sustainable development

We need you! We can only create a just tax system if we stand together. #TaxJustice

Sign the PSI petition against the privatisation of the Post 2015 Agenda

Listen to Rosa Pavanelli talking about Public Services Day on RadioLabour


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