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Addressing the Financing for Development (FfD) Forum at the UN in New York, Eurodad’s Bodo Ellmers made this statement on behalf of the Addis Ababa CSO Coordination Group concerning the failure to address debt crises: “One unfortunate development ...

blog
Why a free press is vital for exposing financial injustice.

Martin Atkin

03 May 2017 09:13:38

As Antoine Deltour and Raphaël Halet - better known as the Luxleaks whistleblowers - prepare for the next legal battle to clear their names, it’s worth remembering that it was only thanks to the much-vilified “mainstream media” that the tax avoidance scandal was exposed. Leaked documents do not make a story by themselves - it also takes independent, determined journalism. The two former PwC employees are appealing against revised sentences handed down by a Luxembourg court for their part in exposing how multinational corporations used secret tax deals with the Grand Duchy to dodge taxes around the world. Although the court reduced their original punishments, the pair are fighting to clear their names altogether. But the whistleblowers deserve praise – not punishment. They were prosecuted ...

blog
Crunch time for the OECD’s new aid rules?

Polly Meeks

25 Apr 2017 10:12:03

Blink and you might miss it: but a seemingly low-key meeting of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Development Assistance Committee (DAC) officials this week could signal one of the biggest changes in decades to the way that donors think about aid.  That’s because tomorrow’s meeting [April 26] could be decision time on the rules governing ‘private sector instruments’ (PSIs). The proposed rule changes would allow donors to count more of their investment in, and other support to, private sector companies as aid, if those companies are doing business in developing countries, and if certain conditions are met.  Civil society, from both North and South, has been warning of risks in these proposed changes for months. To be clear: our concerns aren’t ...

blog
IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings: drifting off course as multilateralism faces headwinds.

Bodo Ellmers, Maria Romero

25 Apr 2017 09:05:58

The 2017 spring meetings of the IMF and World Bank, which also included the second edition of the Global Infrastructure Forum, took place against the uncertainty generated by geopolitical changes such as the election of President Trump in the US and the formalisation of the UK’s exit from the European Union. A draft budget proposal by President Trump, released in the run-up to the Spring Meetings, overshadowed last week's discussions as it suggests that instead of getting a capital increase, the World Bank will experience a substantial cut in its funding from its main shareholder. Meanwhile, civil society organisations (CSOs) voiced their concerns about how far the Bretton Woods Institutions are from serving development objectives. Systematic and concerned focus on private finance. ...

blog
Eight reasons why public country by country reporting is good for business in Europe

Jasper De Meyer

20 Apr 2017 10:58:31

It’s not just tax transparency campaigners and citizens who want public country by country reporting (CBCR). Businesses and investors are increasingly in favour too. Here’s why:  1. To level the playing field between SMEs and large multinationals. SMEs frequently only operate in one country and are not able to engage in profit-shifting between tax jurisdictions to reduce their taxes, and as a consequence face a higher tax bill compared to their competitor multinationals. According to the European Commission’s impact assessment, cross-border companies in the EU are estimated to pay on average 30 per cent less tax than similar firms active in only one country. Public CBCR would help to level the playing field between MNCs and SMEs, and in turn enhance SMEs’ capacity to support growth ...
The latest statistics on Official Development Assistance (ODA) were released yesterday, and reported that total ODA from members of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development Assistance Committee (OECD DAC) group of rich countries was US$142.6 ...

press
New figures show the poorest countries could miss out due to weak aid rules.

New figures show the poorest countries could miss out due to weak aid rules. Brussels, April 11 2017. New global aid figures released today [April 11] have been criticised by campaigners as evidence that rules governing aid aren’t working. According to the European Network on Debt and Development (Eurodad), proposed changes to the rules could actually make things worse. The Official Development Assistance (ODA) figures, compiled by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) ...

blog
One year after the Panama Papers, the EU’s drive for increased financial transparency risks falling short

Jasper De Meyer

06 Apr 2017 14:41:31

On the morning of 4 April 2016, exactly one year ago, citizens around the world woke up to yet another shocking tax scandal. The leaking of 11.5 million confidential documents from Mossack Fonseca showed how the Panamanian law firm helped its clients through the use of offshore anonymous company and trust structures to launder money, dodge sanctions and evade taxation. In the weeks which followed, the Panama Papers put the issue of anonymous company ownership high on the international agenda. The European Commissioner responsible for taxation, Pierre Moscovici, said that the use of offshore companies in order to hide financial assets from tax authorities was “immoral, unethical and, in one word, unacceptable”. He said that the EU had “a duty” to act and put an end to the kind of tax ...