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.

  • The G20, Tax and Transparency

    Posted by Ben

    25 September, 2014

    The G20 Finance Ministers and Central Bankers met over the weekend in balmy Cairns. Sadly, they weren't given many opportunities to work on their tans. They were too busy discussing plans to invest in infrastructure, try to increase global economic growth, and take a few more steps to improve transparency in international finance, and increase the prospects for countries trying to get multinational companies to pay their fair share of tax. Their communiqué doesn't include any major breakthroughs, but there has been progress on the A-B-Cs of tackling tax dodging. So I thought it would be worth taking some time to sketch the progress we've seen so far, and highlight why it's still vital for people to be active in campaigning on these issues. (Image source: www.abc.net.au) Automatic Exchange of Information – which will help to catch and limit people's use of overseas investments and accounts to avoid tax – has been adopted as the new global standard. It's not quite the "end to banking secrecy" trumpeted by… read more

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  • The Next Major Breakthrough In Ending Poverty

    Posted by John

    8 July, 2014

    Last week a story appeared in our national papers highlighting the fact that Glencore, the third largest multinational mining company operating in Australia, had earned $15 billion in profits over the last 3 years, yet they had paid zero taxes! That’s outrageous by anyone’s standards. This is not a new problem. For decades an intricate system of tax havens has been developing across our world which facilitates secrecy in financial transactions and enables dodgy deals by corrupt government officials and criminals. But contrary to popular misconceptions, this is not primarily a problem caused by corrupt dictators and criminals. Of all the money that flows out of poor countries, 65% of it is taken out by multinational companies who are dodging paying their fair share of tax. Each year developing countries lose at least $160 billion from this tax dodging. This is more money than these countries receive in aid. This is money that rightfully belongs to the citizens of these poor countries. Politicians have known about this problem for a long time, but… read more

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  • Voices for Justice 2014 Final Day

    Posted by Benton

    24 June, 2014

    Day 4 started in complete contrast. The early morning weather in Canberra was comparable to a Siberia winter….and raining, but the mood inside was vibrant as 220 Christians once again entered Parliament House to speak up for the poor, the vulnerable and the forgotten. The day started with two media events where Joel Edwards and Dereje Alemayehu spoke with passion about the global Shine the Light campaign. What an incredible movement where an open letter asking governments around the world to act on Tax Dodging and Corruption for the sake of the poor has been signed by over 80 global church leaders that represent a rough constituency of 1 billion people! I was inspired by Joel’s exhortation to us and to the global church to dream of a world put to rights and then get on with the hard yards of participating in God’s mission to finish what was started in and through Jesus. Joel also shared a quote from Tom Wright’s Simply Christian which I think is particularly pertinent to our time at Voices for Justice and demonstrates what that… read more

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  • Voices for Justice 2014 Day 3

    Posted by Benton

    23 June, 2014

    Well I’m sitting here typing this in the middle of Queens Terrace Cafe in Parliament House and the buzz from Voices for Justice participants is infectious and so exciting! It’s actually hard to hear yourself above it all! I think all 220 Christians here at Voices for Justice feel the immense privilege it is to be able to speak truth to our nation’s leaders so that, as Joel Edwards spoke to us about last night, we may join in God’s mission in this world of proclaiming good news to the poor and setting the oppressed free. And as Tom Wright would say, the good news of Jesus and his resurrection is that God’s mission is not to snatch people away from earth to heaven but to colonise earth with the life of heaven. For me, Voices for Justice puts flesh and blood on this idea. At Voices, when we engage with our politicians we are all seeking to respond to these critical questions: who is being oppressed or treated unfairly, and am I standing with them as Jesus would? And as Dereje Alemayehu stressed to us, tax justice isn’t… read more

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