FfD Forum 2019

Statement to Panel A: “Domestic public resources” on behalf of Civil Society FfD Group (including the Women’s Working Group on FfD)

Delivered by Mr. Jason Braganza, Tax Justice Network-Africa

17 April 2019

The President of ECOSOC, Country delegations, Madam moderator, distinguishes guests, all protocols observed.

I take this opportunity to speak on behalf of the CSO FFD Group including the CSO Working Group on FFD. I will speak to three things:

First, it is almost impossible to talk about domestic revenue mobilisation and specifically tax revenue mobilisation without speaking about addressing illicit financial flows from developing countries and specifically Africa. Furthermore, it is equally important when speaking about IFFs, we also include tax related IFFs specifically tax avoidance by MNCs who avoid taxes and move them to secrecy jurisdictions and tax havens. This practice has the impact of undermining tax revenue generation and exacerbating poverty and inequality. It is for this reason, distinguished participants, that this chamber takes a decisive step in adopting a broad definition of IFFs to include tax avoidance. Indeed, the report of 2019 by UNECA states that tax avoidance should be considered as IFFs and that tackling IFFs could boost tax revenue by 2.7% of GDP in Africa. It is therefore urgent for this chamber to adopt a broad definition of IFFs.

Second, it is time for us to move or change the narrative on DRM advice that is provided in the form technical advice and capacity building by the multilateral institutions. And this is in reference to the use of regressive tax policy instruments such as VAT to more progressive taxes such as property and wealth taxes that have a more re-distributive effect in society and put money in the coffers of developing country revenue authorities. It is very clear and evident that policy advice along the lines of regressive taxes tend to exacerbate inequality and deepen poverty of those who are on or below the poverty line. DRM measures and efforts need to be geared to reducing these disparities, not making them worse.

Finally, I would like to remind the moderator, this chamber is a space of equal representation for all and should allow speakers and comrades to speak freely on their issues without being cut off due to poor time keeping of the moderator.

As I conclude, madam moderator, we face a trio of crises as developing and developed world (i) Debt; (ii) Climate; (iii) Financial/Economic to which this chamber needs to pronounce itself on.

I thank you.

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