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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  • The G20 Wrap: Some small steps, but no giant leaps

    Posted by Jennifer

    10 September, 2013

    “Developing countries should be able to reap the benefits of a more transparent international tax system, and to enhance their revenue capacity, as mobilizing domestic resources is critical to financing development. We recognize the importance of all countries benefitting from greater tax information exchange.” (G-20 Leaders’ Declaration, September 6, 2013) The Leaders of the world’s 20 largest economies, the G-20, met last week in St Petersburg to discuss a number of global challenges. Addressing the tax dodging practices of corporations and individuals which deprive governments of both developed and developing nations of valuable revenue was high on the agenda. The Leaders’ Declaration included the statement above which suggests a genuine commitment to including developing countries in this ongoing international conversation about reforming the global tax system. However, the Summit failed to produce tangible mechanisms for facilitating this inclusion. Building upon momentum formed by the G-8 and OECD forums earlier in the year,… 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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  • Australia: tax leader or tax laggard?

    Posted by Mark

    12 August, 2013

    Tax dodging by multinational companies puts a brake on reducing poverty by denying governments in developing countries adequate revenue to provide for their people. The Federal Government recently released its broad outline on what it proposes to do to address tax dodging. While the Government acknowledges there are tax problems for developing countries, it is not seeking to be a leader in finding solutions. The report notes that, “Australia has a clear national interest in and seeks to support the development of other countries”; however, the focus will remain on protecting Australia’s own tax system from tax dodging. By cracking down on tax dodging in Australia, the Government will help ensure it has enough in its pocket to meet its promises to lift the aid budget. However, just relying on aid does not allow developing countries a stable pathway out of poverty. Curbing tax dodging by multinational corporations is essential if they are to be able to collect enough tax to fund the essential needs of their people. The Government report made… read more

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