This briefing paper outlines why taxation is important, the problems of tax base erosion and profit sharing, identifies the main tax havens and off-shore centres in Latin America and outlines tax justice campaigns in Latin America.
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Briefing on tax justice issues - Latin America - Jul 2014Jane Lethbridge
CEO Pay and Public Services - Jul 2014Jane Lethbridge
This report examines the high pay of CEOs of a group of companies delivering public services, e.g. Serco, Capita and G4S.
Privatisation of development finance for public services delivery by the UK Government and the impact on the rights of poor women in developing countries - Jul 2014Jane Lethbridge
This report shows how public-private partnerships (PPPs) and other forms of large-scale development finance schemes promoted by DFID, which involve the transfer of public service provision to the private sector, are impacting on poor women in terms of their unpaid work, influence in decision making and access to decent work.
Why we need public spending (2014 edition) - May 2014David Hall
The report explains why public spending, in particular on public services, is economically and socially vital and not an economic liability. Rising public spending has been part of economic growth for over 100 years; it supports half the formal employment in the world, much of it in the private sector; it delivers services like healthcare and public goods like renewable energy more efficiently and effectively than the private sector. Public spending is an important way of creating greater equality, not only through benefits but through public services. Higher public spending can be financed easily in all countries by taxing the rich, eliminating corporate tax evasion, and property taxes and that public spending and government borrowing are far more efficient ways of funding and providing services than public-private partnerships or privatisation.
(Translated versions in French, German and other languages are also available at http://www.epsu.org/a/10489)
Shared Services - setting unrealistic expectations - May 2014Jane Lethbridge
Shared Services is a concept used by the private sector and for the last decade, shared services systems have been introduced to central government departments, as a way of saving money. Evaluations, by the National Audit Office, show that the most striking feature of many schemes is that there are no savings and the quality of services falls. There is a failure to learn from the experiences of the last 10 years.
Briefing on NSW ‘Revitalising Local Government’ - Apr 2014Jane Lethbridge
‘Revitalising Local Government’ is the Final Report of the New South Wales (NSW) Independent Local Government Review Panel, published in October 2013. This review of the Final Report is written from the perspective of the experience of the UK, particularly England. It was commissioned by the United Services Union (USU), New South Wales, Australia. It covers the role and importance of local government, localism, place-based leadership and mergers of local authorities.
Shield Group profile - Apr 2014Jane Lethbridge
This report provides a profile of Shield, a company providing security services to public and private sector agencies in the UK, India, United States, South Africa, Nigeria, Ghana and Australia. The company has recent won a contract to run visitor/ security services at the Imperial War Museum.
Water Privatisation and Remunicipalisation: International Lessons for Jakarta - Apr 2014Emanuele Lobina
This report provides background to the current court case and public debate about the privatised Jakarta water concessions. It seeks to provide international empirical experience concerning privatisation and the role of public sector in water services, in the framework of water as a human right. It uses this experience to identify distinctive features of the Jakarta contracts, and to discuss parallels between the experiences in Jakarta and in the rest of the world. Finally, it offers conclusions in relation to the possible future of water services in Jakarta.
Equality and public services – beyond consumer spending - Apr 2014David Hall
In all advanced countries, and a growing number of developing countries, public services make a greater contribution to equality than the tax and benefit systems combined, because of the equal distribution of the value of the services. Public services also contribute to equality of household incomes.
This paper sets out the evidence, both from high income OECD countries, and from developing countries, showing:
- The extremely equal distribution of the benefits of public healthcare and education
- public health and education services are more important equalisers than social security benefits
- public services are major absolute and/or relative additions to the economic resources of the poor
- public infrastructure services – water, electricity, telecoms –improve equality and reduce poverty
- public services improve income equality through direct employment and ‘fair wages’ clauses
Failure to acknowledge this evidence damages international policy recommendations. The UNDESA 2013 report on inequality, for example, fails to mention the evidence on equality from services in recent reports on OECD and Latin American countries (UNDESA 2013, OECD 2012, Lustig 2012). The ILO concept of a ‘social protection floor’ barely mentions public services, implying that all the protection needed can come from welfare benefit, and that austerity policies do not harm equality (ILO 2011).
The paper concludes that research, and international and national policies, need to recognise that development of public services is as central to the creation of more equal societies as the distribution of market income or the use of benefits.
PPPs - Apr 2014David Hall
PPPs are now being promoted worldwide by global institutions and consultants. Development banks, national governments, the EU and donor agencies are providing subsidised public finance specifically for PPPs. Countries subject to IMF regimes, and other developing countries, are being subjected to political pressures and marketing campaigns. But experience over the last 15 years shows that PPPs are an expensive and inefficient way of financing infrastructure and divert government spending away from other public services. They conceal public borrowing, while providing long-term state guarantees for profits to private companies.
This report looks at the scale of PPPs, and the institutions promoting them; the lessons of experience with PPPs; and a process for systematic evaluation of PPPs against public sector options. It also sets out some ways of challenging PPP policies and programmes, and offers advice to pension funds considering investing in PPPs.