18 October 2011


Tax dodging by multi-national corporations costs developing countries hundreds of billions of dollars every year, 1% of the population in the US controls 35% of the wealth, obscene salaries and bonuses are paid to corporate executives and yet even as protests about corporate power, greed and corruption gain momentum around the world, an article in the Huffington Post reveals that members of the US Congress are proposing a repatriation tax holiday - a huge, temporary reduction in the tax rate on the estimated $1 trillion that could be brought back to the US from offshore tax havens, in order to stimulate the economy and create jobs.

Critics of the scheme argue that a similar scheme offered in 2004 failed, with the companies taking advantage of the holiday ending up laying off thousands of workers and spending most of the money they brought back from abroad buying back stock and otherwise enriching their top executives and major stockholders.

With the United States' biggest companies already sitting on some $2 trillion in domestically held cash and liquid assets that they refuse to spend on job-creating measures in any case, critics further argue that the proposal provides further evidence that government and business leaders are deaf to the message being sent out by protesters such as ‘Occupy Wall St’.

Meanwhile Christian Aid has released a new video for the End Tax Haven Secrecy campaign. It can be viewed at the Task Force on Financial Integrity and Economic Development website.

You are also invited to visit the End Tax Haven Secrecy website and sign the petition demanding tax justice at the G20 summit in France in November 2011.

On a related issue, the proposal to put a tiny 0.05% tax on financial institutions would raise hundreds of billions of dollars every year to help tackle poverty and climate change has been supported by 1,000 of the world’s leading economists. 

The so-called ‘Robin Hood Tax’ has also gained the support of people like billionaire Bill Gates, European President Jose Manuel Barroso and the European Commission. However Australia was one of the few countries that wasn’t prepared to discuss a Robin Hood Tax when world leaders met in Canada last year for the G20.

Oxfam Australia has an online letter-writing campaign asking that Australia support a Robin Hood Tax at the upcoming G20 meeting.

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