Education International
Education International

Public Services Day: Support global tax justice to pay for better public services

published 25 June 2013 updated 28 June 2013

EI supports the trade union message for World Public Services Day (23 June): “Putting world leaders on notice – members of civil society are uniting for tax justice everywhere”.

Ensuring quality public services are delivered effectively not only redistributes income but boosts opportunity for citizens through better health and education. When one per cent of the world’s population controls 39 per cent of the world’s wealth (and the % is growing), tax also matters. According to OECD figures, developing countries lose three times more to tax havens than they receive in aid each year.

Tax justice to reduce poverty and inequality

A pledge for action on tax justice, the Fair Share Commitment, has been signed by more than 230 organisations to date. The statement highlights the anger felt across civil society about the failure of corporations and the world’s rich to pay their fair share in taxes, and the urgent need for tax justice.

Diverse tax justice campaign activities in June, linked to World Public Services Day, were organised by trade unions and civil society allies in a range of countries including Egypt, India, Ghana, Uganda and Japan.

The Council of Global Unions, of which EI is a member, has also unanimously endorsed tax justice as a key priority of the Quality Public Services—Action Now! campaign.

All countries need tax revenue in order to reduce poverty and inequality by funding vital public services, such as healthcare and education. There is increasing understanding that tax dodging by big corporations undermines public spending.

Working together across borders, partners in the new global tax justice movement are fighting  to end tax havens, tax avoidance and corruption, and to bring in progressive tax systems that are enforced, including financial transactions taxes that curb speculation.

A financial transaction tax must be implemented

“On Public Services Day, EI wishes to reiterate that the wealth that workers help to create must be redistributed,” said EI General Secretary Fred van Leeuwen. “This is why EI is strongly committed to the campaign for the adoption of the financial transactions tax (FTT) and is taking an active role in the broader tax justice alliance.”

You can read EI’s study “Global Corporate taxation and resources for quality public services” here

RadioLabour’s special report on Public Services Day is available here