19 June, 2013
Micah Challenge Australia Blog
The Micah Challenge blog is a space for discussion and debate about the issues of global poverty, faith, advocacy and justice and the Millennium Development Goals. This blog aims to provoke thought and challenge you to learn more about the issues discussed. We welcome your comments.
Micah Challenge is a global campaign of Christians speaking out against poverty and injustice. Click here to visit the Micah Challenge website.
- Bill Gates was in Australia recently and was asked on ABC’s Q&A about the ability of large companies like Microsoft to choose how much (or more to the point, how little) tax they pay. Gates observed that it is quite legal to minimize tax using havens and secrecy jurisdictions, and if governments want to change the rules to collect more taxes they should! (He also said that companies would be happy to pay more in tax but I think his nose grew a little at that point.) This is an important contribution to the debate about the way multinational tax avoidance is reducing government revenues both in wealthy nations and in the global South. If there are no legal impediments to aggressive tax minimization by multinational companies, it is bound to flourish. Sadly, taking advantage of low tax regimes and secrecy jurisdictions is part of most major businesses’ global plans. Apple, for example, is borrowing $70 billion in order to fund a share buyback and dividend payments, despite having over $100 billion in the bank. The problem – from... read more
6 June, 2013The leaders of three very different nations, Indonesia, the UK and Liberia (as well as an army of advisors) have been meeting over the last nine months to discuss what the world might want to aim for in the next generation. At the moment we have the Millennium Development Goals which Micah Challenge campaigns around, but what happens after 2015? That’s what the High Level Panel has addressed in its report to the UN. It set out its ideas on a post 2015 global development agenda after hearing from thousands of people and groups. The report builds on the MDGs in many ways but goes beyond them. It wants to ‘eradicate’ extreme poverty and it urges the world to embrace sustainable development with social, economic and environmental dimensions. It puts women and youth at the heart of the picture and talks about the importance of peace and good governance. It weaves human rights throughout the report and importantly it wants any future goals to be universal – so they apply to Australia as much as Timor Leste and Brazil. And perhaps unexcitedly... read more
4 June, 2013Why does Marta Luttgrodt pay more tax on her informal kiosk business than a multi-billion dollar multinational corporation like SABMiller in Ghana? Why do developing countries lose around USD 160 billion each year due to just two forms of corporate tax evasion (transfer mispricing and false invoicing)? Does more than half of world trade really pass through tax havens as it appears to on paper? How can the Cayman Islands be home to around 57,000 people but have 92,000 registered companies? It's pretty clear that the global tax system is broken. When the wealthiest individuals and corporations avoid paying their fair share of tax in the countries where they operate, it is left to smaller businesses and poorer individuals to pay more in tax, or do without the services that governments provide. Corporate tax evasion has a particularly diabolical effect on poor countries. If the governments invested the money they lose to corporate tax evasion according to current spending priorities, it could save the lives of 350,000 children each year. We have been... read more
28 May, 2013Jake Doleschal is the Finish the Race community leader for the Victorian electorate of Flinders. As a young, passionate advocate who uses his voice to promote social change in a number of different areas, we thought we would let Jake share with you what makes him such a driven activist. Why are you passionate about being an advocate for the poor? My motivation to advocate with the poor is rooted in the gospel of Christ. Indigenous activist Lilla Watson summarizes the essence of this universal call in which Christ beckons us to join, in her response to those coming to help her community - “if you have come here to help me, you are wasting our time. But if you have come because your liberation is bound up with mine, then let us work together”. I advocate with the poor because when we are unified as a global body, we cannot help but advocate for change! When did you first become involved with Micah Challenge? My first experience with the Micah Challenge was attending Voices for Justice in 2012 (which was a great experience… but quite cold!)... read more