Tax justice and public services are connected in diverse ways, and its relationship goes beyond the revenue angle. Like tax justice, public services build social cohesion and strengthen the social contract between citizens and their States. They build representation, underscore the value of the commons and redistribute the responsibility of care from households to the State, alleviating the disproportionate burden of care that falls on women and girls around the world.
It is difficult to conceptualise a reality of tax justice in the absence of free and universal public services. Similarly, achieving quality public services cannot be conceived without the required finances that can only be sustainably raised through taxes.
On this year’s Public Service Day, the Global Alliance for Tax Justice (GATJ) reiterates its commitment to continue campaigning for tax justice and public services as part of a broader campaign for economic and social justice globally.
Read solidarity messages from some of our members:
“The great damage caused by tax evasion and avoidance, more than 300 billion dollars in annual losses in Latin America, and also policies that end up defunding our fiscal coffers, such as the promotion of tax privileges for large corporations and wealthy individuals, are the main factors that undermine the financing of our countries and make access to social protection systems and quality and universal public services impossible.”
Luis Moreno – tax justice coordinator at Latindadd and chair of GATJ’s coordination committee
“In Latin America and the Caribbean, large corporations enjoy tax privileges, which are granted by governments in exchange for nothing and have a negative impact on public revenues. Approximately 5% of GDP goes uncollected because of these benefits, equivalent to the average investment in education in the region. Corporate privileges must be ended and the drain on our resources stopped.”
Adrián Falco – coordinator of Red de Justicia Fiscal de América Latina y El Caribe and co-president of Latindadd
“The pandemic showed us the value of public services. Thousands of hard working public servants worked tirelessly to support Canadians in areas such as healthcare and emergency benefits that effectively kept the country running. Now, as Canada faces multiple crises, from climate change to affordability, it is more important than ever to ensure we have an adequately funded public service. This requires closing tax loopholes for corporations and the wealthy and ensuring our tax system delivers support to people in need.”
Katrina Miller – executive director of Canadians for Tax Fairness
“Taxes play a vital role in providing essential resources to the government for development and public services. They serve as a crucial means through which governments can secure the necessary funds to support various sectors, including healthcare, education, and infrastructure. The effectiveness of a government in collecting and managing tax resources directly influences its capacity to deliver these essential services to its citizens and foster overall societal progress.”
Francis Kairu – tax & international financial architecture policy officer at Tax Justice Network Africa
“Countries continue to lose hundreds of billions of dollars to tax dodging by multinational corporations – money that is urgently needed to fund public services. Transparency – and letting the public see how much tax corporations are paying in each country where they operate – can help solve this problem, and that is why we need urgent action.”
Olivia Lally – tax justice senior policy and advocacy officer at Eurodad
“The fight against poverty and inequality, and the achievement of equitable development will not be possible if the State neglects its obligation to provide citizens with adequate public services. Unfortunately, in times of multiple crises, the axe of neoliberal policies falls on public services and people: by cutting spending on essential services and introducing indirect taxation, while lowering taxes on corporations and wealthy individuals, they exclude those struggling to survive from access to commodities of basic needs and essential services. On this Public Service Day, austerity should be exposed as a policy choice by the ruling elites to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. The answer to multiple crises is tax justice.”
Dereje Alemayehu – executive coordinator of GATJ