Minimum global corporate tax rate: a launchpad for greater ambition

photo: AFP

The ITUC has welcomed the agreement by 136 countries on global tax reform, which includes a 15% minimum global tax rate, but it must be the beginning of changing the system so that big companies pay their fair share.

ITUC General Secretary Sharan Burrow said: “We welcome this long overdue example of multilateralism, but this must act as a launchpad, not a destination, for greater ambition to ensure that multinational companies pay their fair share of tax.

“A minimum rate of 15% is too low, it will slow the race to the bottom of corporate tax and deal tax havens a major blow, but there are too many loopholes in the deal. However, now that there is agreement by most of the world that we need a minimum rate, we must push for the right rate, which we have argued should be 25%.

“The G20 finance ministers meet this week, and they must show the ambition the world needs and go above the 15% rate. We have made it clear in our briefing why the world needs fair corporate taxation – now the ministers must deliver.

“And let’s not stop here. The governments of the world must find agreement on other cross-border tax challenges, such as a tax on the excessive wealth of the world’s richest people and a tax on financial transactions so that this sector makes a fair contribution to tax revenues.

“Now is the time to create the financial conditions to achieve economic and social recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, provide for quality public services, reduce inequality and tackle unemployment. To fund this, we need a fair corporate tax.

“So, this is a good start, but we must go further and the people of the world shouldn’t have to wait until the next crisis for everyone to pay a fair, effective rate of tax. Most working people pay more than 15% tax. Why should they wait for multinationals and the super-rich to pay their fair share?”

For further analysis of the tax deal, read the response of the Trade Union Advisory Committee (TUAC) to the OECD here.