#99 Climate crisis, transition and tax
#98 The Financial Secrecy Index: world’s worst offenders
#100 Healthy economies

How many more signs do we need to tell us we must urgently reform our economies, keep essential services out of private hands and transition away from fossil fuels? As the world buckles up for a different kind of crisis tackling the Coronavirus, we look at how tax justice is key to all economic reform in the public interest. Solving the climate crisis – any crisis – is impossible without it. Never miss an epsiode! You can subscribe to the Taxcast via email by contacting the Taxcast producer on naomi [at] taxjustice.net

We speak to Dr Gail Bradbrook, co-founder of Extinction Rebellion on a vision of hope, John Christensen of the Tax Justice Network. We also bring you the voices of tax office workers from their protest outside the British Parliament against the government’s closing of tax offices, shedding up to 50,000 jobs. Unfortunately this is a worldwide trend. Produced and presented by Naomi Fowler.

“The majority of the public now understand that there is an emergency. But the other bit of it we haven’t done strongly enough yet is to hold out the vision that change is possible. We know that tax is a really key issue.”

~ Dr Gail Bradbrook, co-founder of Extinction Rebellion

We’re really needed more than ever now especially in the light of the coronavirus, we’ll need all the taxes we can get for all the extra care that people will need.”

500 offices being closed, 50,000 staff being lost and yet you want the biggest budget to spend the most money, nobody’s going to be around to collect it.”

We’re the best bargain that you’ll ever get, the money that we cost compared to the money that we raise for hospitals, for schools, for infrastructure, for the roads, we’re a great bargain.”

~ Tax office workers, UK Parliament protest

“If you include all the health impacts of fossil fuel production and the damage caused by extreme climate events linked to global warming, the floods and the forest fires and the increased incidence of drought and so on, and if you bring all of those costs into the equation, the true cost of subsidies to the fossil fuel sector runs to an astonishing 5.2 trillion US dollars every year. Or get this, that’s 10 million US dollars every minute of every day of the year.”

~ John Christensen, Tax Justice Network

Further reading:

  • Part 1 of the Tax Justice Network’s special series on financing the transition away from fossil fuels is available here. (Part 2 is on the way)
  • Spain nationalises all of its private hospitals as the country goes into coronavirus lockdown, details here.
  • The Corporate Accountability Network
  • By popular request, a transcript of the programme is available here (not 100% accurate)
Jargon
Secrecy Jurisdiction

A tax haven or secrecy jurisdiction is a place that deliberately provides an escape route for people or entities who live or operate elsewhere. They shield them from whatever taxes, criminal laws, financial regulations, transparency or other constraints they don’t like. Ordinary people whose lives are affected by tax haven laws are not consulted on these laws because they live in other countries: they have no say in how those laws are made, thus undermining their democratic rights.

Tax Haven

A tax haven or secrecy jurisdiction is a place that deliberately provides an escape route for people or entities who live or operate elsewhere. They shield them from whatever taxes, criminal laws, financial regulations, transparency or other constraints they don’t like. Ordinary people whose lives are affected by tax haven laws are not consulted on these laws because they live in other countries: they have no say in how those laws are made, thus undermining their democratic rights.

Offshore

A tax haven or secrecy jurisdiction is a place that deliberately provides an escape route for people or entities who live or operate elsewhere. They shield them from whatever taxes, criminal laws, financial regulations, transparency or other constraints they don’t like. Ordinary people whose lives are affected by tax haven laws are not consulted on these laws because they live in other countries: they have no say in how those laws are made, thus undermining their democratic rights.

5 Rs of Tax

Revenue, to fund public services, infrastructure and administration.
Redistribution, to curb inequalities between individuals and between groups.
Repricing, to limit public “bads” such as tobacco consumption and carbon emissions.
Representation, to build healthier democratic processes, recognising that higher reliance of government. spending on tax revenues is strongly linked to higher quality of governance and political representation.
Reparation, to redress the historical legacies of empire and ecological damage.

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