ACTION IN AUSTRALIA
"Those who have enacted unjust policies are as good as dead, those who are always instituting unfair regulations, to keep the poor from getting fair treatment, and to deprive the oppressed among my people of justice, so that they can steal what widows own and loot what belongs to orphans." Isaiah 10:1-2
Tax evasion is an example of the kind of injustice described in Isaiah - a kind that prevents the poor from receiving fair treatment, and effectively steals from those most vulnerable. Injustice begins when God's creation order gives way to false hierarchy of human worth, which is the basis of inequality. When inequality invades systems and structures, they become sites of partiality and injustice that favour the powerful over the powerless. Poverty results and the cycle is self-perpetuated. Tax evasion demonstrates the extensive impacts that occur when injustice becomes systemic and forms biased economic practices.
Many high profile multinational corporations are developing reputations as notorious tax evaders, keeping multiple billions for themselves when it is fairly owed to others. Taking action within Australia can help to stop tax evasion - both at home and overseas. Ask questions of your favourite companies and brands, and make sure they know that ethical business is important to consumers.
Read Up!Christian Aid has a resource pack designed for churches. http://www.christianaid.org.uk/Images/STOP-tax-dodging-campaigner-pack-Oct-2013.pdf
Watch! This animation shows the damage tax havens do, and how we can tackle the problem together. The Tax Justice Network demonstrates how the wealthy are escaping their responsibilities to the societies on which they and their wealth depend.
Advocacy is one of the most important steps you can take in responding to the issue of tax evasion and the way in which this robs developing countries of essential public services.
Email the Federal Treasurer encouraging them to stand up for ethical global tax structures that protect poorer countries and their citizens from tax evasion. Show your support of effective international tax rules so that developing countries are not cheated out of their fair share.
To take a more active role in political advocacy, consider joining forces with The Micah Challenge. This organisation represents Christians at a national level and have led effective advocacy demonstrations and campaigns in the past. Check out their current campaigns here: http://www.micahchallenge.org.au/key-campaigns
“If we believe that trade is important, we could do more to open our own markets to trade from developing countries. If we believe property rights are important, we could do more to enforce the principle that nations, not illegitimate leaders, own their own natural resources. ... If we believe transparency is important, we could start by requiring our own companies to publish the details of the payments they make to developing countries.”
• Owen Barder, Senior Fellow at the Center for Global Development (1)