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Tax Justice and Women’s Rights, global days of action are coming

February 7, 2017   Blog, Gender, Human Rights

The Tax Justice Network is supporting global partners in highlighting the impact of regressive tax policies and financial secrecy on women’s fundamental human rights, something we campaign on and write about. Here’s some information about the #TaxJustice for Women’s Rights Global Days of Action. The dates for your diary are 8-24 March 2017.Women

UN criticises Switzerland and pressure mounts over human rights impacts of tax havens

December 1, 2016   Blog, Gender, Human Rights
We’ve reported before on this blog on the groundbreaking situation whereby Switzerland—ranked number one in the Tax Justice Network’s Financial Secrecy Index – faced tough questions from a U.N. human rights body in Geneva over the toll that its tax and financial secrecy policies take on women’s rights across the globe. Now Switzerland has received strong recommendations from the U.N. Committee mandated to oversee compliance with the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) regarding its role as arguably the world’s leading tax haven. We reproduce the following from the Center for Economic and Social Rights, one of our partners in this highly significant event:

More evidence of the links between tax and inequality

campbell-lusherThe economists Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, Facundo Alvaredo and Anthony Atkinson have played a big role in helping analyse and popularise the role that tax rate cuts for wealthy folk play in fostering economic inequality, particularly the income shares of the top 1 percent of people compared to everyone else. As they put it in 2013:

“The evolution of top tax rates is strongly negatively correlated with changes in pre-tax income concentration.”

Their findings have of course been attacked, not least by certain players keen for taxes on wealthy people to stay low.

Now there’s a new US-focused study by Douglas Campbell and Lester Lusher, called Drivers of Inequality: Trade Shocks versus Top Marginal Tax Rates. It seeks to check on these findings:

Why is the CEO of IKEA Switzerland head of a UN panel on gender?

Simona Scarpaleggia, CEO of IKEA Switzerland

Simona Scarpaleggia, CEO of IKEA Switzerland

On March the UN Secretary-General’s High-Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment held their inaugural meetingThe panel:

intends to put women’s economic empowerment at the top of the international agenda, including by defining actions to speed up progress under the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.” 

Gender responses and gender impact are clearly seen as key ways to anchor the success of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. And we’re pleased that this is happening. But there is a jarring note.

Top rate income tax cuts: 89 percent go to men, 11 percent to women

March 11, 2016   Blog, Gender
Women tax cuts

Sharing out the proposed tax cut from 45 to 40 percent

From The UK’s Mirror newspaper:

“If George Osborne [the UK Finance Minister] slashes the rate further in the Budget – from 45p to 40p for those on £150,000 or more – will put even more money in men’s pockets.

Analysis by the Tax Justice Network found there are 339,000 people (284,000 men and 55,000 women) earning above that level.

Cutting the rate to 40p would be worth £3.3billion to high-earning men (89%) but just £428million to wealthy women (11%)”

(Hat tip to Jolyon Maugham for that 339,000 figure, of which 83.8% are men.) We recently explained how a proposed cut to the UK top rate of income tax from 45 percent to 50 percent (for incomes over £150,000) would see 83.8 percent of the tax cut going directly to men, and 16.2 percent to women.

That’s counting the number of taxpayers affected. But now let’s ask how much of the £ value of this tax cut would go to women.

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