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.

  • Just Systems, Real Change

    Posted by Micah

    18 October, 2013

    Tax justice for developing countries and empowered communities supported by good governance will help bring about lasting change for those facing poverty, writes Matthew Maury. In the early 1990s I was living in Zambia, working with grassroots community development projects. During a trip to the capital city I got into a discussion with another expat that I bumped into. We covered the usual range of questions – who are you, where are you from, what are you doing in Zambia? I was quite surprised when he told me he was a tax accountant who had been sent to help teach the Zambia Revenue Authority how to improve their tax collection practices. Part of his work was to help the Zambian Government target international organisations who were not paying their fair share of taxes. There is a high correlation between an African government’s ability to collect tax and its ability to achieve the development targets laid out in the Millennium Development Goals. On a recent trip to India, I was encouraged to come face-to-face with impressive examples of… read more

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  • A South African businessman's perspective: Q&A with Graham Power

    Posted by Micah

    15 October, 2013

    We caught up with Graham Power, founder of Power Group of Companies and Unashamedly Ethical to find out why he's so passionate about fighting corruption in business. Unashamedly Ethical are a partner of EXPOSED. Q: What does corruption mean to you? What does it look like in South Africa? Corruption is a serious problem across the world – I view it like a sick cancer. It destroys every element of society, and we know from what we read in the Bible that God abhors corruption (Prov 11.1). South Africa is facing a few serious challenges when it comes to corruption. Our Transparency International ranking has shown that we are dropping steadily on the Corruption Perceptions Index – this shows us that public confidence in our government and business leaders is declining. We have recently had a number of significant scandals relating to corruption of public funds. What makes matters worse is that South Africa has one of the highest rates of inequality in the world. We need a just and efficient economy to be able to provide food security, health care,… read more

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  • 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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  • How can the G-20 deliver for the poor?

    Posted by Jennifer

    3 September, 2013

    Let’s take a step back and remind ourselves that the Australian election is not the only event happening in the world this weekend. On Thursday and Friday, the leaders of twenty of the world’s largest economies will meet together in St Petersburg at the G-20 Leader’s Summit. This forum needs to make the global tax system work for the poor. Currently the system facilitates widespread tax avoidance and evasion by multinational corporations, depriving all countries of tax revenues. Citizens in developing countries suffer most from the failings of the current international tax system, as their governments are robbed of revenue which could provide essential social services and infrastructure. In June, the G-8 made promising moves towards reform of the international tax system. However, they did not go far enough. The G-20 (which includes some of the major developing economies such as India, Mexico and Indonesia) is an ideal forum to address these global challenges. Australia’s political parties – whoever forms government after 7… read more

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