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 business case against tax evasion

    Posted by Trevor

    19 June, 2013

    Bill Gates was in Australia recently and was asked on ABC’s Q&A about the ability of large companies like Microsoft to choose how much (or more to the point, how little) tax they pay. Gates observed that it is quite legal to minimize tax using havens and secrecy jurisdictions, and if governments want to change the rules to collect more taxes they should! (He also said that companies would be happy to pay more in tax but I think his nose grew a little at that point.) This is an important contribution to the debate about the way multinational tax avoidance is reducing government revenues both in wealthy nations and in the global South. If there are no legal impediments to aggressive tax minimization by multinational companies, it is bound to flourish. Sadly, taking advantage of low tax regimes and secrecy jurisdictions is part of most major businesses’ global plans. Apple, for example, is borrowing $70 billion in order to fund a share buyback and dividend payments, despite having over $100 billion in the bank. The problem – from Apple’s… read more

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  • Time to make global tax rules work for the poor

    Posted by Jennifer

    4 June, 2013

    Why does Marta Luttgrodt pay more tax on her informal kiosk business than a multi-billion dollar multinational corporation like SABMiller in Ghana? Why do developing countries lose around USD 160 billion each year due to just two forms of corporate tax evasion (transfer mispricing and false invoicing)? Does more than half of world trade really pass through tax havens as it appears to on paper? How can the Cayman Islands be home to around 57,000 people but have 92,000 registered companies? It's pretty clear that the global tax system is broken. When the wealthiest individuals and corporations avoid paying their fair share of tax in the countries where they operate, it is left to smaller businesses and poorer individuals to pay more in tax, or do without the services that governments provide. Corporate tax evasion has a particularly diabolical effect on poor countries. If the governments invested the money they lose to corporate tax evasion according to current spending priorities, it could save the lives of 350,000 children each year. We have been… read more

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  • Australian Business Leaders: Keep Foreign Aid Promise

    Posted by Micah

    6 May, 2013

    Over 35 senior Australian business leaders are calling on the government to keep its promises on foreign aid in an open letter published by the Australian Financial Review today. Signatories to the letter (see below) include business leaders from Qantas, Macquarie Bank, PwC, IKEA and the Australian Institute of Company Directors. One of those behind the initiative is Simon McKeon, the executive chairman of Macquarie Group and a former Australian of the year. In his interview with ABC News, he said: “We are in a region where essentially all of our near neighbours are developing countries. And certainly from the business world we appreciate as much as anyone how important it is to have a good and prosperous region…What this group of business people is saying today is that foreign aid is important.” Click here to join with these business leaders and make your voice heard by the Prime Minister and Treasurer in the lead up to the federal budget. read more

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  • Faces Behind Finish the Race: Linda Hanson

    Posted by Micah

    2 May, 2013

    Linda Hanson is the Finish the Race community leader for the Wide Bay electorate. Here Linda shares about why she is so passionate about the Finish the Race campaign, and the role she plays in her community as a voice of change and advocate for social justice. Why are you passionate about being an advocate for the poor? The theme for the Uniting Church National Youth Convention in 2001 was Micah 6: 8 and ever since then this verse has struck a chord with me. All throughout the bible there are verses like this where Jesus is telling us as disciples to advocate for the poor and vulnerable. If I want to be real in my faith I can’t ignore these verses. How did you first become involved with Micah Challenge? I wrote a letter as part of the first letter writing campaign and in later years encouraged congregational members to do the same. Why have you committed to be a part of Finish the Race? After going to Voices for Justice last year I learnt that where I can be most effective is as an advocate in my home community. Also, before I went I thought my… read more

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