Oxfam Ireland and over 3,000 people are calling on Enda Kenny to travel to Ethiopia to contribute to making global taxes fairer.
The UN’s Financing for Development conference is on in Addis Ababa next month, and while world leaders are attending to discuss how the new Sustainable Development Goals are financed, the Taoiseach has not yet confirmed his attendance.
Oxfam Ireland’s public petition was signed by 3520 people across the country over a period of four weeks. It is part of Oxfam’s Even It Up campaign which is requesting the reform of tax systems and increased spending on health care and education. The petition was sent to Leinster House.
Tax campaigners from Oxfam Ireland also stood outside government buildings holding a giant boarding pass in a bid to persuade the Taoiseach to attend the conference.
The Sustainable Development Goals are set to be discussed at the conference. These will replace the Millennium Development Goals which were introduced in 2000 and gave targets for reducing poverty, hunger and the spread of HIV/Aids as well as the introduction of primary education around the globe by 2015.
Oxfam released a report earlier in the year stating that, if global inequality were to continue, the richest one per cent of people in the world will own over 50 per cent of the world’s total wealth.
Christine McCartney from Oxfam Ireland has said that the conference in Ethiopia is a prime opportunity to create a ‘fairer international tax system.’ She says that it is therefore essential that UN members’ governments send senior government members to take advantage of this ‘once in a decade’ opportunity. McCartney also highlights the importance of ensuring that large corporations pay fair taxes on their profits.