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.

  • Another Step Forward in Tackling Tax Dodging

    Posted by Ben

    10 September, 2014

    Finding a place to stash illict funds, or avoiding tax by hiding money overseas, just got a little bit harder. Last week, the Treasurer announced that Australia will join other countries in implementing the new global standard for the Automatic Exchange of Information on Tax Matters. The OECD and G20 have been working on a global standard for the Automatic Exchange of Information on Tax Matters (AEOI) which means that countries are able to automatically receive information when any of their citizens set up bank accounts or make investments in another country. International experience has shown that AEOI cuts down on tax dodging by wealthy individuals and corporations. With appropriate privacy safeguards, AEOI makes it much easier for countries to identify people and businesses making use of legitimate international banking needs and what may be illegitimate tax evasion. Developing countries lose an estimated $1 trillion each year through illicit outflows – that is, money that was illegally earned, transferred or utilised. A significant proportion of this… read more

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  • Encouragement gained from Voices for Justice

    Posted by Joel

    27 June, 2014

    If you've never been and you're planning to go to Australia this time of year, make sure you take an umbrella and something warm to wear. The place is not about beaches and heat waves all the year around. Whatever Australians say about constitutional freedom from Britain, the weather in Canberra (the political HQ of the Australian people), seemed planned to make me feel like I was home again. But that's just me getting my own back. My three days with Voices For Justice, the annual training ground for political lobbying run by Micah Challenge Australia, was a massive adrenalin boost. Over 200 individuals from almost every state in the country spent four days in the capital challenging their politicians on global tax dodging which amounts to the loss of over US$160 billion from the poorest people in the world every year. Those who attended came from a wide spectrum of ages, churches and cultures. And the marvel of it, was that the vast majority of these lobbyists had no prior experience in advocacy before they came to Voices For Justice. Tax… 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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  • Treasure Islands

    Posted by Salome

    28 May, 2014

    Nicholas Shaxson is a full-time writer for the Tax Justice Network, and has written a book called Treasure Islands, which is an incredibly interesting and informative exposé on tax havens; how they came about, why they came about, and to what degree they have shaped our modern economic history. After reading the book, I can say with confidence that a tax havens have shaped everything about our modern economic context, in ways that you cannot even imagine. I have provided some key points from Treasure Islands which I found interesting, and which hopefully will give you a better understanding about why we have an entire Shine the Light campaign focused around tax justice. Crime One of the key defining features of a tax haven is it’s foundation of secrecy and complete lack of transparency. This is a problem because if there is one thing that thrives in secrecy, it’s the criminal underworld. And we aren’t talking only about white collar crimes like embezzlement, which is what you typically think of when you hear the words tax evasion. The… read more

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