“We have a World Bank, a World Health Organisation and even an international body to regulate football — but, in the face of massive corporate tax scandals, we don’t have a global tax body. In whose interest is this?” — Rosa Pavanelli, General Secretary of the Public Services International
New York (19 March 2015) — Public Services International (PSI) General Secretary, Rosa Pavanelli, has called for a new global tax body while giving evidence in New York to the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation (ICRICT).
PSI is a global trade union federation, of which the National Union of Public and General Employees is a member, representing 20 million working women and men who deliver vital public services in 150 countries. PSI champions human rights, advocates for social justice and promotes universal access to quality public services.
Need for international body
Pavanelli said “We have a World Bank, a World Health Organisation and even an international body to regulate football — but, in the face of massive corporate tax scandals, we don’t have a global tax body. In whose interest is this?”
Outdated global tax rules
“The current international corporate tax laws were written in the 1920’s before the ball point pen and the photocopier had been invented — yet 40 years after we put a man on the moon we still can’t tax McDonald’s properly for selling us a cheeseburger,” said Pavanelli, referring to the recent exposure by public sector unions of McDonald’s alleged tax avoidance practices in Europe.
“The technical solutions exist — what we lack is the political will,” she said from New York.
Time for a tax debate that hears from everyone
“This Commission is a big step forward in including the public in a tax debate that affects everyone but has been hijacked by corporate interests and blocked by our politicians.
“Something is very wrong when McDonald’s can siphon a billion euros out of European tax coffers while our governments tell us that lack of revenue means we must cut health care and pensions” she said.
The Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation (ICRICT) chaired by former UN Under-Secretary-General of Economic and Social Affairs José Antonio Ocampo, met for the first time on March 18, in New York, to take expert evidence.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE