Tax, Inequality and Human Rights

An article, written by Philip Alston and Nikki Reisch on the Open Global Rights, discusses how delivering on the SDG’s promise to reduce economic inequality requires progressive taxation and effective enforcement to ensure the global rules are followed and the wealthy pay their fair share, bearing responsibility for their role in the climate crisis.

This article comes after the 2019 High-Level Political Forum on Sustainable Development where Inequality was a central topic in the agenda. However, they argued that the recent agreement between the United Nations and the World Economic Forum on a Strategic Partnership Framework is not only risky but it also ignores the essential role that fiscal policy has in raising and redistributing resources, regulating conduct, representing the governed and realizing their rights.

Alston and Reisch published a book called “Tax, Inequality and Human Rights” where they collected essays that look at the linkages between human rights and tax law, revealing their mutual relevance to tackling economic, social, and political inequalities.

Increasing amounts of organizations are focusing on the role fiscal policy can play in reducing inequality. Oxfam’s Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index 2018, analyzes how fiscal policy affects the economic divide, highlights recent progress in South Korea, where the government increased tax rates on the wealthy, social spending, and the minimum wage, and Chile, where the government raised corporate taxes. The IMF has confirmed again, corporate tax dodging is a problem that takes its steepest toll in developing countries and creates further reliance on regressive consumption taxes, like the VAT.

Access the full article on OpenGlobalRights through this link.