Alicket Masenda, Malawi. 'I am affected by the rising food price because I don't have any income and can't buy anything. The children had no food since the morning" Photo: Frederic Courbet/Panos Picures/ActionAid
Politicians are talking about “ Savage” cuts on public services Nick Clegg “ Difficult decisions” to cut the deficit David Cameron The "tough truth” and “hard choices" for the economy to recover Gordon Brown
But there is another solution , which could make a big difference…
Tax revenues are essential for all countries. In developing countries they pay for things such as doctors and teachers’ salaries that can’t be easily covered by short term aid. Photo: G.M.B.Akash/Panos/ActionAid
Money that can help stop cuts in crucial public services in the UK,
And aid the fight against global poverty and climate change. Photo: Andrew Aitchison/Oxfam
Without tax justice, children will continue to be denied an education. International aid can help build schools – but teachers have to be paid by government tax revenues. Akalam Amlama works in Miyuyu village in remote southern Tanzania. His village now has a school, but he’s faced with the impossible task of teaching 170 children on his own. “ I have to teach the children one grade at a time, while the other children have to go outside and play!” Photo:Andrew McConnell/Panos Pictures/ActionAid
Two… Multinational companies to pay all the taxes they owe both here and in poor countries Poor countries lose more to tax evasion by multinationals than they receive in aid.
Many multi nationals siphon their profits out of poor countries (and indeed the UK) into tax havens. The first step to tackle this is greater transparency. At the moment companies only have to publish one global set of accounts.
We want them to publish a basic set of accounts in every country they work in. This would make it clear to everyone which companies are paying their fair share, and which are dodging the taxes they owe. 1 staff member = £10m profit. That’s worth investigating…
Both solutions could raise billions for our economy and for poor countries around the world.