Why Work on Tax?
Fiscal policies – including taxing and spending – are increasingly recognized as a key arena where important battles about the future of development and democracy are being fought. This has become evident in the starkest sense since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, as governments across the world are struggling to find the resources to ramp up health spending and keep their economies afloat.
At the International Budget Partnership (IBP), we work to promote citizen engagement with budget policies and processes to make them more equitable and inclusive. While our work has historically focused on the expenditure side of the budget, it is increasingly clear that we need to bring issues of taxation and revenue collection more squarely into our work. As a result, we have launched a Tax Equity Initiative to ensure citizens and civil society have the tools needed to effectively engage in tax reforms.
Why Focus on Equity?
Governments need to give more attention to promoting equity through taxation and have multiple policy tools at their disposal to promote more equitable societies. Among these, fiscal policies are probably some of the most important and powerful ones. How much tax different individuals pay, and how much they get back in public services can have an important effect on the overall distribution of income, wealth and economic and political opportunities—and determine how fair and equitable a society is.
We believe that enhancing civil society’s capacities and skills to engage in tax reform and push for more equitable taxation can pave the way for a reduction in inequality and the promotion of just societies where everyone has opportunities to flourish.