Fair Tax Monitor Strategic Reflection and Review Workshop

From 3 to 5 September the Oxfam FTM team in collaboration with Tax Justice Network – Africa will host a strategic reflection and review workshop in The Hague, The Netherlands.

The current cycle (2018 edition of the Common Research Framework (CRF)) is underway in 9 countries: Senegal, Tunisia, Nigeria, Uganda, Occupied Palestinian Territories, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Vietnam and Cambodia, and is yielding a significant body of knowledge on taxation in the targeted countries. 2018 country level findings provide strong indications of the substantive trends on country levels in terms of regressivity of taxation, insufficient revenue collection to fund essential services, lack of transparent and accountable tax systems, etc.

The FTM is uniquely positioned to provide empirical evidence on how tax policies are designed in a way that can contribute to rising inequality across different geographies, strengthening Oxfam’s and TJN-A narrative against race to the bottom, and the need for fair and efficient DRM efforts to fund universal essential services.  As such it is an important instrument in Oxfam’s Fiscal Accountability for Inequality Reduction program (FAIR-EiU) and links to Oxfam’s global campaign to fight inequality.

The FTM supports national advocacy efforts with technically viable tax proposals that call for fairer systems, which also mobilize citizens to raise their voices against unfairly taxing the poor and rewarding the wealthy. Globally, FTM can provide a standardized quality benchmark to evaluate national tax systems and identify wider cross-national trends, laying the foundation for more credible global tax advocacy efforts.

A key lesson from the first batch of draft reports that have been reviewed by members of the global team was that implementing the FTM research is quite a heavy process. An objective for 2018 will be to find ways to reduce the scope and intensity of the research methodology, without losing too much of the richness that the current analysis brings. Reducing the scope in a strategic way will help feed the evidence for tax advocacy on the national, regional and global levels.

For this purpose, we will bring together participants from 10 FTM countries and colleagues from Oxfam and TJN-A’s global and regional teams. Together we will work to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the FTM methodology and create a common understanding of the strategic added value of the FTM in advancing the shared Oxfam and TJN-A tax advocacy agenda.