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  • Labour Wants An End To Tax Evasion To Protect Public Services
    Updated On: Aug 21, 2016

    By C. Marie Ainsborough, Radio Labour, July 1, 2016:

    Thursday, June 23 was World Public Service Day, a day set aside by the United Nations to remind people about the importance of public services.  Senior Correspondent C. Marie  Ainsborough of Canada’s Radio Labour Reports:

    [C. Marie Ainsborough]: Labor organizations around the world are leading campaigns to protect public services.  They argue that the services are part of the common wealth of a society and should be enhanced, not cut by government austerity programs or provided by corporations focused on making profits.  One of those labor organizations is Public Services International, a global labor federation which represents almost 700 unions with 20 million workers in 154 countries.  In the past year it has been focusing on a large number of issues, including migration, equality and global trade.  One of the issues it has been addressing most forcefully is tax evasion, because fair tax systems help fund necessary public services.  Radio Labor interviewed Rosa Pavanelli, the PSI’s General Secretary.

    [Rosa Pavanelli] “Nobody knows the real amount of money that is stolen by governments and national administration every year, but there’s an estimate that it’s about 30 trillion U.S. dollars a year that are hidden in tax havens.  Of these about ten trillion is estimated to be from the least developed countries in the world.  So it’s not true that tax evasion is a matter that affects only the rich countries.  It affects mostly developing countries.”

    [C. Marie Ainsborough]: Miss Pavanelli was also asked what should be done to curb tax evasion.

    [Rosa Pavanelli] “We need a global governance on this issue.  We cannot expect to solve the problem with actions of individual government.  This is why we strongly support the proposal of the Independent Commission for the Reform of Corporate Taxation to create a global tax body under the umbrella of the United Nations that can deal with a deep reform that can include all the countries, developed and developing.  Second should be to close the tax havens.  Then, I think the proposal that the European Trade Union Confederation recently adopted to proposed a minimum corporate tax rate fixed at 25 percent is a very good first step that should be endorsed.  Finally, we think that each country should annually publish the list of tax [] given to companies in its jurisdiction.”

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