News (17)

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A dramatic expansion of government contracting to the Big Four consulting companies

There has been a dramatic expansion of government contracting to the Big Four consulting companies—PwC, EY, KPMG and Deloitte—for providing advice. “Ironically, as the architects of global tax avoidance, the Big Four are more responsible than any other institutions for undermining the government’s tax base thanks to their tax avoidance advice for multinational clients. Yet they are also the biggest winners of taxpayer consultancies.”

Greece: people wonder when the pain will end

As the government signs on to another draconian agreement involving austerity and privatization with European institutions and the International Monetary Fund, its people wonder when the pain will end. “Mr. Tsipras's political opponents, who have been gaining ground in opinion polls, have noted that the country will remain under foreign supervision for years to come and will still be subject to harsh austerity measures, including a package approved by Parliament last week that includes further pension cuts, tax increases and privatization of state assets. That view is often echoed by regular Greeks. ‘What exit? This is a life sentence,’ said Giorgos Amanatidis, a 67-year-old pensioner in Athens. He added, ‘Taxes, taxes and more taxes.' Where's the light at the end of the tunnel? What kind of future do my grandchildren have here?’ The pace of privatizations has recently been accelerating.

Source: www.nytimes.com

Labour demands end to VAT loophole by NHS trusts putting jobs at risk

The Labour Party is demanding an end to a VAT loophole used by NHS trusts which they say could put thousands of jobs at risk. “Eight trusts have set up private companies and transferred 3,000 support staff such as cleaners and porters into them. A Health Service Journal report claims 16 more trusts are drawing up similar plans, affecting another 8,000 staff, to save on VAT bills. Shadow Health Secretary Jonathan Ashworth will write to Jeremy Hunt to tell him the move means an ‘unacceptable two-tier workforce.’ He will accuse the Health Secretary of ‘back door privatization’ by taking staff off the NHS payroll.”

Source: mirror

Documents (9)

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Understanding the basics of (securities-based) financial systems. Daniela Gabor, UWE Bristol.

The claim is that capital markets can provide new solutions to age-old development challenges (homelessness, access to education, clean water, crime prevention and helping disadvantaged children). Securities markets connect institutional investors that care about social/environmental impact with those in need of support. The aim is that ‘building movements of belief’ through institutional investment can achieve development goals. This short paper asks what is at stake in this new systematic attempt to re-engineer domestic financial systems. It suggests that securities-market based finance is a Trojan horse for financial globalisation.

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Fiscal Contracts and Local Public Services: Bridging Tax Justice and Inclusive Cities for the New Urban Agenda

A PSI research paper on sustainable local and regional government funding “provides a set of political and practical options, recommendations and caveats for LRG/municipal unions and their members to make counterproposals and put alternative, progressive options on the table when they are told private financing, externalization and austerity measures are the only way to finance local public services, including within the implementation of the New Urban Agenda. It is also meant to spur much needed debate which PSI LRG/municipal unions members have a lot of expertise to contribute to.”

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CSOs as equal partners in monitoring public finance

CSOs as equal partners in monitoring public finance started from 2016 with the aim to improve accountability and transparency of the public finance in targeted countries and strengthen Civil Society Organisations’ (CSOs) role and voice in monitoring the institutions’ performance in that area. Key project activities are research and monitoring, advocacy, capacity building and transfer of knowledge/practices and networking in the field of the 4 specific topics: • public debt, • public-private partnerships, • tax equity and • infrastructure projects. More about the project and our work can be found here: https://www.facebook.com/BalkanMonitoringPublicFinance/

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