Het doel van de campagne is dat ontwikkelingslanden voldoende belastinginkomsten krijgen om zelf publieke voorzieningen te kunnen bekostigen. Bijvoorbeeld, voorzieningen voor scholen en ziekenhuizen. Lees meer over de campagne of lees de tekst uitgesproken tijdens de presentatie!
I am here to talk to you about something most of us really hate to do: paying our taxes. Before I get started, quick show of hands: who in the audience think its import to pay their taxes? Now if only multinationals felt the same way.
Major corporations across the globe have become experts in dodging taxes. If there is a loophole in the system somewhere, they’ll be sure to find it. This is costing us billions. It’s money that could have been spent on vital things like schools, roads and hospitals. Doesn’t sound fair right? And it’s not just hurting our society. But people in developing countries most of all.
My name is Anika van den Bergh, I’m from ActionAid and I’d like you to meet Shalon, holding the red sign. Shalon goes to school in Malawi. Where she sits in a classroom with 140 children and just 1 teacher. At the same time, multinational Paladin, also in Malawi, is making huge profits from its mining business. Yet, somehow Paladin has managed to cut its tax bill by 45 million dollars. Which could have paid for – get this – 39.000 teachers. And it’s not just happening in Malawi. Developing countries lose an estimated 200 billion dollars because of tax avoidance. Which is much more than they receive in aid each year.
That’s why in 2008 ActionAid launched its Tax Power campaign. A truly global campaign, driven by partners in 24 countries. We joined hands with the Tax Justice network and it wasn’t long before people took notice. Tax dodging and the Panama papers were all over the news. And governments started to make some changes. With Tanzania celebrating a major breakthrough last year, when the country declared free secondary education, funded by removing tax incentives. The increase of tax revenue is amazing. And now ActionAid is taking the next step. By making sure tax revenue is also properly spent. On schools, like Shalon’s.
That’s why in 2016, we launched a new program. Not for building schools or teaching materials. But for addressing corruption and keeping track of education budgets. All of the sexy activities of budget monitoring, researching the quality of education and lobbying are in there.
This literally just started, so we are still waiting to see how things progress. But that’s why we’re here right? To do things differently. Ultimately ActionAid’s Tax Power campaign is about challenging one of the main structural causes of inequality. So that hopefully one day, there will be no more need for our work. No need for aid at all.