Tax justice is a central concern for anyone working for social justice. We believe in genuinely progressive taxation: that is, tax systems that generate sufficient public revenue, while ensuring that this revenue is fairly redistributed and focused on rebalancing economic and gender inequalities.
Progressive taxation means higher tax rates for those with more wealth. We believe that taxes can be made more progressive through well-designed scales, exemptions and thresholds: property tax, capital gains tax and other wealth taxes, such as inheritance tax, are examples of generally progressive taxes, while consumption taxes tend to be regressive, as they apply a fixed rate to everyone. Overall, a mix of progressive taxes with high rates for high-earners, combined with low-rated consumption taxes will bring about a more progressive overall tax system.
Developing countries have a particular need to increase their tax revenue, to ensure that they can pay for essential activities. However, they tend to rely more heavily on consumption taxes to raise revenue, although these have a disproportionate impact on women and poorer people. Meanwhile, corporate tax avoidance and evasion is taking place on a massive scale, effectively shifting tax contributions from the wealthiest groups in society to the poorest. We want to ensure that the right level of funding is available for gender-responsive public services, such as health care, education, and clean water, and we do this by tracking how governments spend their tax revenue, to ensure it contributes to reducing inequalities.