(Addis Ababa, Ethiopia) — THE UN says development talks in Ethiopia have set a bold agenda but aid agencies say Australia and other rich nations have scuppered an opportunity to address tax inequality.
NEGOTIATIONS on a final agreement at the Financing for Development conference were agreed upon overnight, with the UN trumpeting what it calls a groundbreaking agenda.
UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon hailed the agreement as a step forward in building a sustainable future that will leave no one behind.The agenda includes setting up a forum to identify infrastructure gaps, a social compact to favour poor countries and renewed commitment to the UN aid target of 0.7 per cent of national income.But Australia and other rich countries failed to support stronger global tax reform, which aid agencies say robs the world’s poorest people by rigging the rules.
The conference did agree to strengthen the work of a UN committee of tax experts and improve its effectiveness and operational capacity.But Oxfam chief executive Helen Szoke says it falls short.Developing countries had pushed for the establishment of an intergovernmental tax body that would give them an equal say in how global tax rules were designed.”Instead they are returning home with a compromise, meaning rigged rules and tax avoidance will continue to rob the world’s poorest people,” Dr Szoke said.She said despite talking tough on tax avoidance Australia was among the rich countries not to support that move.”It is just not logical to ask developing countries to raise more of their own resources without also reforming the global tax system that prevents them doing this.”The UN’s new development goals will be signed off in New York this September.
Source: Courier Mail