SUPRO and Oxfam share recommendations for pro-poor tax system with Bangladesh MPs
In January this year the Bangladesh Parliamentary Caucus on National Planning and Budgeting hosted a lobby meeting on the 7th Five Year Plan and budget for fiscal year 2015-16. During the meeting, Oxfam and its campaigning partner SUPRO had the opportunity to share their recommendations on fair tax policies and practices in Bangladesh.
In order to ensure a pro-poor tax system, SUPRO and Oxfam stated that it is first necessary to provide a simplified and automated tax system and make people participate in the reformulation of the tax law. Additionally, the government budget should be based on direct taxation and government spending on public services should be increased.
Oxfam and SUPRO also pointed out the need to reform the Bangladesh’s national budget, which should be restructured to reflect grassroots demands. Furthermore, this demand-based budget should support the goals of education and health for all as well as a sustainable agricultural development.
The topic of addressing poverty through the widening of long-term social safety-net programs was also discussed. This needs to be achieved through adequate and transparent budgets based on people’s needs and regional priorities. Institutional accountability should be improved by creating a transparent and accountable selection process of beneficiaries and access to services.
On a finale note, SUPRO and Oxfam demanded that the Parliamentary Caucus initiates regular dialogue meetings with grassroots CSOs and learns about their hope and aspirations, so these can be shared with all relevant government departments, ministries and institutions.
The meeting was essential for increasing government understanding about pro-poor fiscal policies and attracted media coverage from the Bangladeshi English daily newspaper “the Financial Express” which published the following article: