By UN Radio
August 23, 2016
United Nation’s Radio discusses fairer global taxation with the executive Director of Oxfam International, introduced by Dianne Penn in New York:
[Dianne Penn]: Making the global tax system fairer and closing loopholes would be a huge benefit to women. That's the view of Winnie Byanyima, Executive Director of Oxfam International, which is dedicated to fighting poverty worldwide. She said that it was vital to address the economic challenges faced by women and girls. Ms Byanyima is a former Ugandan parliamentarian and was Director of Gender at the UN Development Programme (UNDP). Jocelyn Frank asked her how economic inequality was also impacting on gender inequality:
[Winnie Byanyima]: “Wealth is concentrating in the hands of fewer and fewer people. Today, 62 billionaires at the top own as much wealth as half of humanity at the bottom, 3.6 billion people. And the reason for that is because economic policies have really been determined by those few at the top working with politicians. That’s really what has happened, that governments have stepped back and allowed a bully in the field to have a field day. Until we reform that system and governments can collect the taxes that are due to them and are able to deliver services, infrastructure, that benefits everybody, including those businesses, we’ll not have a human economy. We’ll have an economy that works for the few…where women are losers because they are already at the bottom of the rung. That plugs all the loopholes, would benefit women in several ways.
One: you would have taxes paid by all the rich companies and rich individuals, and therefore governments would collect more money to put into public services, which are critical for women, because when public services are cut, education, health, social protection, the burden of that care falls disproportionately on women.
Secondly, we want to see more progressive taxation, regressive taxes are like taxes on consumption…consumption items that are basic, that everybody buys in their home. Like everyone pays the same taxes. Except, for example, if you’re a woman who spends sixty percent of your income just buying food, then you’re paying a consumption tax on it as a millionaire, who buys that bread, and also buys a yacht, and buys…whatever. Proportionately, your share of tax is much higher than his share of tax.”