We demand tax Justice now!

(30 May 2013) After years of austerity and deregulation and their combined devastating anti-social effects, the scandals of tax fraud, companies not paying their taxes and wealthy individuals profiting of the legal loopholes have created a new mood in the public for tax Justice. The European Federation of Public Service Unions has been arguing for tax justice for over a decade, when this issue was not yet the flavour of the month! Already in 2000 we agreed our European Tax Charter, which was the outcome of years of work and campaigning. Obviously, we are pleased that our demands have now made their way into the political mainstream and we wholeheartedly welcome the current drive of statements by governments, European and international institutions to fight tax fraud. One little difference we have with most of these battle calls against fraudsters is that the very same governments are actually cutting staff in the administrations that have to fight tax fraud. Hence our campaign 'Where is the money gone!' Our objective is to stop the cuts in tax administrations to ensure a proper fight against tax avoidance and tax fraud! With this purpose we have sent letters to the European Parliament in the report on the fight against tax fraud, to the G-8 countries (those that are in the European Union plus Russia) and we are working shoulder to shoulder with Public Services International (PSI) to coordinate the work at the G-8, G-20 and the OCDE. Just taxation is a global issue and EPSU and PSI are at the heart of this fight, amongst other things to stop austerity. EPSU, a very campaigning union lately, has been also very active to highlight the ongoing negotiations on the concessions and public procurement directives. On Tuesday, 28 May 2013, FGTB and CSC with the support from their European Trade Union federations and confederations, UNI Europa, ETUC, EFBWW, EPSU, and EFFAT, organised a day of action in front of the building of the Directorate General (DG) for the Internal Market of the European Commission in Brussels. This successful mobilisation underlined our demand that rules on public procurement fully respect workers rights and more transparency. Last but not least, our ongoing European Citizens Initiative (ECI) has gone the historic barrier of over 1.5 million signatures with now 9 countries having achieved the minimum number of signatures required. Besides Austria, Belgium, Finland, Germany, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Slovakia, and Slovenia, the Netherlands have successfully collected the necessary number of signatures. Greece, Spain and Italy are just few signatures away from the country thresholds. Our will is to reach the required target in more countries and to get as close as possible of 2 million signatures. We want a strong mandate for water and sanitation to be declared a Human Right! Yours Carola Fischbach-Pyttel