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ECOSOC Special Meeting On Tax

Statement by Daniel Gimenez at the ECOSOC Special Meeting on Tax, 29 April 2019.

| ECOSOC

Thank you madame Vice-President,

Domestic resource mobilization from private and public sources will be the main determinator to what extent the SDGs are achieved by 2030. This is the general historical experience of most of the countries having graduated from low- to middle- to high income countries. Norway is committed to promote international and support domestic actions that will enable this transition.

Norway is committed to supporting the advancement of an international tax system built on principles of accountability, transparency and predictability. Joint and multilaterally agreed standards is the best way to improve domestic revenue mobilization in support of the Sustainable Development Goals.

Norway is on track to reach the Addis Tax Initiative target to double our tax-related official development aid by 2020. Our strategy is to combine support to broad multilateral action for tax norms and targeted capacity development cooperation with a selected number of partner countries. We emphasize support both to state and non-state actors.

We welcome the work of the UN Tax Committee to align efforts in supporting countries in their efforts to implement the 2030 Agenda and the Addis Ababa Action Agenda by helping to generate clear, evidence-based policy guidance on how to support the pursuit of sustainable development through taxation in the broader context, beyond domestic resource mobilization.

We look forward to seeing progress from the Platform on Collaboration of Tax partners commitment to developing a comprehensive, multi-year programme on tax and the Sustainable Development Goals, including components on taxation and health, education, gender, inequality, the environment and infrastructure.

Madame Chair,

Growing inequalities is a barrier to achieving the SDGs. We regard it as important that the international community addresses how fiscal policies can be used to advance equality and equity within countries and between countries.

The inter-agency report on financing for development concluded that the current financial governance system, including the taxation system, contributes to growing inequalities between people and countries.

Tax alone cannot solve the challenge of inequality, but progressive taxation combined with a redistributive spending strategy are central elements to reduce inequality and promote inclusive growth.

Progressive tax policies, administration and integrated tax system reform can be a key determinant for improved equality. Providing support to countries in the form of capacity development and enabling policy options should be a priority for multilateral and bilateral partners.

Effective tax administration contributes to reduced corruption and improved transparency. The absence of such contributes to the proliferation of illicit financial flows, criminal activity and corruption, which disproportionately affects the most vulnerable and contributes to increased inequality. Curtaining illicit financial flows requires an improved tax system that promotes certainty, transparency and fairness and puts and end to impunity of illicit flows.

Madame Chair,

Digitalisation is changing every aspect of society and how we relate to each other. This is also true for the economy and the tax system. There is a real danger that digital solutions will create winners and losers and that the poor will be left further behind. We see it as our collective responsibility to ensure that developing countries benefit from digital solutions.  

Taxation of the digital economy is an opportunity to support developing countries’ domestic resource mobilization and ensure that profits are registered and taxed appropriately.

There is currently a lack of of regulations for a system of taxation of the digital economy which puts the specific needs and capacities of development countries in the centre. As international tax rules are being re-written it is important to ensure that the process is inclusive of developing countries’ perspectives and that the effects on equality is considered.

We need to ensure that we have multilaterally negotiated and agreed solutions for taxation on the digital economy. The UN has an important role in raising the concerns for the least developed countries with the particular capacity gaps that they may have, and ensuring that their voices are heard in the negotiations and discussions of international tax rules for the digital economy. Other multinational organisations should also ensure that there is an inclusive process in negotiating the tax rules for the new global economy.

Importt to underline cooperation and collaboration between OECD and the UN and to use the Platform for Collaboration on Tax to ensure coherence.

Madame chair,

Last but not least, taxation is clearly linked to how we address climate change. The Financing for Development Forum focused on the need to identify and implement solutions with transformative effects on climate change as well as addressing the funding gap for the SDGs. Protecting such global commons is a collective responsibility and we support a multilateral approach to negotiated solutions.

Environmental taxes has the potential to being a positive tool when integrated in a larger fiscal and environmental policy environment that foster coordination and collaboration between different government ministries.

I thank you.