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.

  • How a supermarket can explain the problems of tax corruption

    Posted by Marissa

    14 October, 2013

    MNCs, base erosion, profit shifting, subsidiaries, tax havens, transfer mispricing... lots of complicated economics terms that zoom over many of our heads, mine included. While determined to undertake further research and grasp the implications of what was being referred to as a complex and broken system, I came across a simple yet accurate analogy. Going to the supermarket, you are left with the choice of lining up for a cashier, or jumping to the self-serve machine. I was shocked to learn recently that it is not uncommon for people to cut corners and avoid accurately paying for things. For example, you can manually enter an item to pay 39c a kilo when it is actually worth $20 a kilo. It's wrong: it's unethical, it's stealing, and it's illegal.... But because you're operating the transaction yourself and there's no one over your shoulder watching exactly what you're doing, you can get away with it. Amazingly, the supermarket company knows this is happening but from a business and profits perspective, it is actually cheaper for… 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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  • Finish Well

    Posted by Micah Challenge

    9 October, 2012

    Almost a month on from Voices for Justice, Courtney Gavin, Baptist World Aid's Production and Marketing Coordinator, reflects on finishing the race to halve extreme poverty by 2015. If I could describe Voices for Justice 2012 in three words, they would be: amazing; encouraging; motivating. But perhaps I should start at the beginning. My advocacy began as a teenager. Enraged by global poverty and wanting to do something about it, I discovered Micah Challenge and quickly enlisted by signing the ‘Micah Call’. But when I realised this advocacy might actually mean having enough guts to talk to my local federal MP, I have to admit…I was kind of freaked out. So ‘X’ amount of years later, here I am at Voices for Justice for a second time (slowly overcoming my fears), this time as a lobby group leader…no pressure!! My lobby group met with one MP, one Senator and two advisors to a politician. We asked them to recommit to increasing aid to 0.5% GNI by 2016 (and a timetabled commitment of 0.7% by 2020), to ensure effective… read more

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