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Global efforts between 31 countries to confidentially share tax information have been lambasted by Oxfam Australia as “only a baby step towards greater tax transparency”.
Stating that confidential disclosure of tax information served as an inadequate measure of reform, Joy Kyriacou, Oxfam Australia’s finance for development manager noted that the latest agreement “falls short” of including poorer countries and their respective economies, with much more needing to be done in order to create a fair and just tax system.
“This needs to start with making the information public,” Ms Kyriacou said.
“Only one of the 31 signatories to join this agreement is classed as a lower-middle-income nation, and none are among the world’s poorest.
“We need changes to the global tax system that ensure everyone benefits – including people in the poorest countries,” she added.
Ms Kyriacou went so far as to deem “financial secrecy” at the heart of “the vastly unequal world in which we live today”, noting that many companies will avoid the changes altogether since they do not meet the global revenue requirements of $1 billion.
“European banks are already providing financial information on a country-by-country basis, so there’s no reason why the same cannot be added to this agreement. It is time for tax information, on a country-by-country basis, to be made public,” she said.