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.

  • Gaining ground - but still a long way to go

    Posted by Mark

    11 March, 2014

    There has been some exciting progress being made on addressing global tax evasion. However, there is a lot more that still needs to happen and there is still a risk new global rules will be set that disadvantage developing countries and will restrict their ability to seriously tackle tax dodging by multinational corporations and wealthy individuals. At the meeting of the G20 Finance Ministers in Sydney on 22 and 23 February, the Finance Ministers and Treasurers again agreed “Profits should be taxed where economic activities deriving the profits are performed and where value is created.” They gave their full support for the G20/OECD Action Plan to address tax dodging. They committed to ensure that by the Brisbane G20 summit in November, they will start to deliver effective, practical and sustainable measures to counter tax dodging across all industries. They endorsed the OECD new global standard for countries and tax havens to exchange information with each other, a new tool for fighting the scourge of tax evasion. The Ministers and Treasurers stated… read more

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  • Reflections on the latest UN MDG report

    Posted by Gershon

    15 July, 2013

    The latest UN MDG report was released this month. It’s one of those reports that I really look forward to every year, it’s probably the best snapshot of the progress the world has (and hasn’t) been making in the fight against poverty. Committing a few choice statistics from the report to memory is also a great way to razzle dazzle your friends and colleagues with your ‘amazing’ knowledge of world events. Next dinner party, try a line like this one, “I loved that speech that Malala gave to the UN about education this weekend. Did you know that in the last decade or so, the number of children out of school has almost halved, falling from 102 million in 2000 to 57 million by 2011?” It’s a guaranteed way to get some self-esteem boosting ‘oohs and aahs’. Back to the report. It outlines that many of the Millennium Development Goals are within reach by the 2015 deadline, but to achieve them will require building on the momentum that has been generated, despite the economic difficulties facing many nations. The… read more

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  • Crackdown on Tax Dodging Needs to Go Global

    Posted by Mark

    22 May, 2013

    After all the attention focused on aid delays and asylum seekers in last week’s Federal Budget, you may be forgiven for not noticing that the Government also announced steps to crack down on multinational tax dodging. This move could raise an extra $4.2 billion over the next four years. The Government will crack-down on multinational companies being able to loan money to themselves and then claim the interest repayments as a tax deduction, a process whereby multinationals essentially receive a tax break for recycling money from one part of the company to another. Research by Dr Grantley Taylor of the Curtain Business School and Professor Grant Richardson (paywall) from the University of Adelaide found that for publicly listed Australian companies, this practice, along with the misuse of transactions between different parts of the same multinational enterprise (known as transfer mispricing), were the primary methods of tax avoidance in the period 2006 to 2009. These tax-dodging practices are also used by multinational companies to cheat developing countries… read more

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  • Country by Country Reporting: An idea whose time has come

    Posted by Gershon

    23 April, 2013

    I blogged last year about a shocking global conspiracy that was doing immeasurable harm to the world and ripping billions upon billions of dollars out of developing country coffers (more money than they receive in aid). I despaired that the biggest perpetrators of this enormous crime were continuing to enrich themselves at the world’s expense while getting away scot free. Well here’s the update; all that’s starting to change. The world is standing up and taking notice, and for the criminals, it looks like it’s time for them to start paying the piper. At the centre of this global crime wave are multinational companies who have manipulated the global economic system to allow themselves to shift their profits away from the nations where they actually operate and into tax havens. This deprives countries of the funds they need to support their citizens, which means less roads, doctors, police, schools and teachers. In developing countries this translates to less lives saved, less children educated and a prolonged experience of poverty. The… read more

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