He who runs away from the fight for Tax justice, lives to fight it another day.
Guest blog by Webster Sinkala - Tax Justice Activist, Activista, Action Aid Zambia, written for International Tax Justice Blogging Day 2016
It is now common sense in Southern Africa that when you graduate, you have to be on the job market for not less than a year to get a decent job. It is the same with other social amenities that are supposed to be adequately and justly provided to the citizens. When asked why such a situation, many graduates point to the poor performing economy as a result of tax injustices and corruption. I believe a nation without a fair tax system is like a class without a trained teacher, both suffer a conscience of poor performance.
Tax is the most sustainable and reliable source of finances for all states. It enhances both the accountability of our governments to us citizens and that of business to society. Tax has the power to raise funds to pay for public services such as: creation of employment, quality education for all, excellent health care, good road network, provision of shelter to the needy and reduction of income inequality in society. It has the ability to prevent our nations from too much borrowing and dependence on Foreign Aid .I strongly choose to believe we control which investor can invest in our countries and what taxing regime should apply on them, therefore the investment should be able to favour the host country more than the investor.
In this case it is vital that our governments and we citizens ensure transparency and progressive spending. We need to take up a serious course of action to embrace Tax Justice and avoid associating it with corruption, political influence and nepotism. It is quite irresponsible on the part of the governments and other stakeholders to allow investors to dictate the terms of investments at the expense of tax Justice.
There is need to wake up and learn from the past and recent impact of entertaining tax dodging practices, and if we think running away from the battle today guarantees us a battle less life, we need to know that we are living to fight another day. By employing a more transparent, accountable and adequate tax system, we can expand the journey to economic freedom and stability. Together yes we can win and make our society better for everyone.