Sophie Efange, Gender Policy Advisor and Matti Kohonen, Principle Advisor on the Private Sector at Christian Aid each contributed a blog on Christian Aid’s page, on this week that sees the world’s elite meet in Davos for the World Economic Forum. During Davos, many organisations gathered in the Fight Inequality Alliance (Global Alliance for Tax Justice, Christian Aid, Oxfam, Greenpeace, FEMNET, etc.) are organizing a Week of Action around #FightInequality.
In his piece titled “Inequality — what are the alternatives?”, Kohonen starts by pointing out several drivers of the increased inequality, such as “identifying inequality as an inevitable stage of growth” as in the “elephant curve” argument, only focusing on the economic expression of inequality and ignoring the “need for active policies by national governments to ensure that the public good is being met”
He then explores “what can be done to stop inequality?” and explains: “Countries that have successfully tackled inequality tend to have created a narrative about the public good and shared a positive identity of a nation which allows — in some cases — placing the public and social good above the personal, family or ethnic allegiance. This requires a state willing to create inclusive financial deregulation, progressive tax systems, rules stopping tax evasion, creating expansionary fiscal policies, and ensuring that natural resource revenues are for the benefit of all, rather than for private gain”.
“A handful of the world’s elite descend on the Swiss mountain town to ponder the world’s fate, set against a backdrop of rising global inequalities, continued fiscal austerity, conflict and repeated international humanitarian crises”, writes Efange in her blog post titled “Progressive taxation: the way forward in a fractured world”.
While “it will now take 100 years — as compared to 83 years last year — to close the global gender gap”, “Tax is one of the fundamental building blocks of our societies, Efange states. It is the most sustainable source of government revenue and therefore can be a central tool for correcting pervasive gender inequalities and ensuring a state’s legal obligations to securing women’s rights”.
“Whether you’re talking about the provision of primary school education for young girls, sexual health education for adolescent girls, public maternal health services for pregnant women, or social protection for older women, tax pays for all of it.
However, the ways in which these taxes are raised are equally important and the overwhelming number of multinational corporations represented at Davos are central to this”.
Christian Aid’s Spanish member InspirAction published a Spanish translation of Efange’s article on its website.