Our colleagues in Belgium have decided to celebrate the fourth of January as the day when billionaires in Belgium will have earned sufficient to pay their tax bill for the whole of 2019. In an era of preposterous inequality, social fragmentation and political crisis, what’s not to celebrate?
Here are the details (more details – in French – here)
On 4 January 2019 (10:30 a.m.)
Where? Near the square of the billionaires in Brussels
Notwithstanding the economic crisis the very wealthy get even richer as a consequence of neoliberal policies while the rate of poverty is still alarming. A survey carried out at the University of Antwerp shows that 1% of households actually owns 18 to 20% of the nation’s wealth. 80% of the value of stock market shares is held by the wealthier 10%.
Many economists everywhere in the world have now established that distribution of wealth and income has become more unequal since the 1980s with on the one hand wages and salaries stagnating and on the other corporations and the very wealthy being granted all sorts of tax gifts and subsidies.
During the present legislature workers have not been spared: austerity measures, temporary disconnection of wages with the price index, freezing of wages, reform of the 1996 Act on wages, announcement of a reform of seniority scale in wages, cuts in public services and in expenses in the health sector, etc.
TAXES MUST CONTRIBUTE TO REDUCING INEQUALITIES
While they may be perceived as an imposition, taxes are actually a contribution, a financial effort by everybody but also by a number of economic actors to finance those needs that are deemed essential to social life.
Tax justice is necessary to ensure the right to human dignity as stated in article 23 of the Belgian Constitution.
We therefore need to stress the principle of progressive contributions while noting that the current situation is just the opposite: as soon as 4 January, the very wealthy will have paid all the taxes they owe whereas an average citizen cannot but contribute to the common welfare until June or July. Who said ‘tax justice’?
STOP TO INCREASING INEQUALITIES
The RJF (Réseau pour la Justice Fiscale), the FAN (Financieel Actie Netwerk), the TAM-TAM campaign and Hart Boven Hard call to meeting in front of the private street in which among others French tax expats live on 4 January.
* an exhaustive and accurate record of all citizens’ assets, as a basis for sound decisions in terms of tax, fiscal and economic policies;
* progressive taxation of assets that exceed one million euros (personal house excluded).
The two organizations for tax justice (RJF and FAN) include trade unions and some thirty movements and NGOs in Flanders, Wallonia and Brussels.