Global and Public Finance

In solidarity with the Greek people: “No” to neo-liberal austerity and illegitimate debts!

The Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD) salutes the people of Greece for decisively choosing to break the chains of austerity and debt. In a historic referendum yesterday, July 5, over 60% of voters said “No” to stronger austerity measures imposed by the “troika” – the International Monetary Fund, European Central Bank and European Commission.

We and many other peoples of the global south share their struggle against illegitimate debt, austerity measures and neo-liberal economic policies. We know only too well the devastating impacts of debt and anti-people policies imposed by the IMF, other international financial institutions and lender governments.

They have wreaked havoc in countries around the world, plundering natural resources and pushing people deeper into poverty in favor of elites and corporations. But instead of owning up to their responsibility, they have chosen to blame the very people they have wronged and insist on the perpetuation of illicit financial policies and illegitimate debts.

We will continue to stand in solidarity with the people of Greece as they enter a new phase in their struggles.  We reiterate our call for the cancellation of all illegitimate debts, in Greece, in our countries and elsewhere. We also call for an end to the imposition of austerity measures and other neo-liberal policies which have trampled on the very freedom and dignity of peoples across the world.

6 July 2015

Asian groups urge a “no” vote in Greek referendum [PR]

PRESS RELEASE

MANILA, 3 July 2015 – In solidarity with the Greek people and government, an Asian alliance of social movements and organizations stated their support for the call for a "no" vote in this Sunday's historic referendum.

"We and many other peoples of the global south share the struggle of the people of Greece against​ ​illegitimate debt,​ ​austerity​ ​measures and neo​-​liberal economic policies. We know only too well the devastating impacts of debt and anti-people policies imposed by the International Monetary Fund, other international financial institutions and lender governments," said Lidy Nacpil, coordinator of the Asian Peoples' Movement on Debt and Development,​ ​a part of​ ​the​ ​global anti-debt network
Jubilee South.

"Thus we​ ​support the call of the​ ​Syriza​ ​government​ ​for a 'no' vote,​ ​and​ ​the right​ ​of the people of Greece​ ​to chart their own future free from the troika's stranglehold," she added in a statement.

On Sunday, July 5, Greeks will take part in a national referendum on a technically-defunct bailout offer which would enforce stronger austerity measures in their debt-ridden country. Greece missed a $1.7 billion loan payment to the IMF last Tuesday, the first developed country to do so.

A "yes" victory will pave the way towards the negotiation of a new bailout, with tougher budget cuts and tax rises, and undermine the Syriza government. A "no" victory, on the other hand, would support the government's rejection of the imposition of the "troika" – the IMF, European Central Bank and European Commission.

APMDD is also a signatory of an international statement released today which blamed the "troika" for Greece's current situation.

"The world has experienced how debt burdens and neoliberal impositions have created havoc on economies, depleted natural resources, exacerbated inequalities, and impoverished peoples while siphoning off billions of dollars to global capitalist banks, giant corporations and imperialist governments," the organizations said in the joint statement expressing solidarity with the Greek people.

"Your struggle is our struggle. Your victory is our victory," they also stated.

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The Asian Peoples' Movement on Debt and Development (formerly Jubilee South–Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development) is a regional alliance of peoples' movements and organizations, coalitions, and nongovernmental organizations.

Contact Denise Fontanilla at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information.

Asian movements push for global tax body [PR]

MANILA, June 29, 2015 -- Asian movements are joining the global call for governments to demand the establishment of a global tax body at the ongoing negotiations in the UN Financing for Development process, which will culminate in a conference in Ethiopia next month.

“Civil society groups in Asia are criticizing the United States and European Union for opposing a global tax body that would be more democratic than the OECD and G20, which rich countries dominate,” said Lidy Nacpil, coordinator of the Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD).

“Setting up a tax body is a crucial first step towards a better global financial system which works to uplift the majority and not further enrich the wealthy. It can level the playing field against tax evaders and provide more funds for developing countries,” she added.

The outcome of the third Financing for Development conference, which will be held on July 13-16 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, will also impact the Sustainable Development Goals, which are also currently being negotiated.

“The adoption of post-2015 development goals will mean nothing if there is no financing to ensure its implementation,” she added.

APMDD is one of more than a thousand organizations which are part of the Global Alliance for Tax Justice (GATJ).

“Currently, the world’s poorest countries are excluded from decision making on global tax standards, and international systems often don’t take into account their realities and interests. This means lower tax income and thereby less available financing for development in these countries,” according to a list of ten reasons in favor of a tax body released by several GATJ members.

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The Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (formerly Jubilee South–Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development) is a regional alliance of peoples' movements and organizations, coalitions, and nongovernmental organizations.

For more information, please contact Denise Fontanilla at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Cancel Nepal’s debt – Nepali, Asian people’s groups [PR]

KATHMANDU, 24 June 2015 – Civil society alliances around the world reiterated the call for the cancelation of Nepal’s entire debt, ahead of tomorrow’s International Conference on Nepal's Reconstruction 2015.

“If governments, international financial institutions, international banks, and other lenders truly stand in solidarity with Nepal, they must immediately, totally, and unconditionally cancel the country’s debts,” said Lidy Nacpil, coordinator of the Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development. “The billions of dollars of debt claimed from Nepal would be much better put into use in the long and hard road to recovery.”

The call for total and unconditional debt cancellation for Nepal is supported by international, regional and national networks and organizations all around the world and led by LDC Watch and the Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development.

These organizations are alarmed by the World Bank’s statement on Tuesday that it has promised a loan of up to USD 500 million for Nepal’s recovery.

"Our current external debt of around USD 3 billion is already unsustainable," said Prerna Bomzan, LDC Watch advocacy coordinator in Nepal. "This year alone, a debt servicing amount of USD 373 million is due which could be redirected towards recovery and reconstruction. Nepal must demand for full cancellation of debt maintaining consistency with the LDC Group's call regionally and globally".

Nepal’s planning commission has released a report showing at least $6.6 billion is required for the country’s recovery.

“Loans for relief and recovery will only put Nepal deeper into debt," said Dr. Sarba Khadka of Rural Reconstruction Nepal, an APMDD and LDC Watch member organization which endorsed the alliance’s statement.

The alliance’s other Nepalese member organizations signed the statement along with international and national movements and organizations, including Jubilee USA Network, European Network on Debt and Development, Jubilee Debt Campaign UK, Christian Aid UK, Oxfam, Jubileo Sur Americas, NGO Forum on ADB, Bretton Woods Project and the Third World Network.

The Finance Committee of the parliament of Nepal has responded positively to the call. Yesterday it passed a directive asking the Nepal government to propose debt cancelation at the reconstruction conference tomorrow, June 25, in Kathmandu. 

About 9,000 people have died and an estimated eight million people have been affected by the first, magnitude-7.8 earthquake which hit Nepal last April 25. A magnitude-7.3 aftershock followed on May 12.

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CONTACT

Prerna Bomzan, LDC Watch (Kathmandu): This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , 9860898753

Denise Fontanilla, APMDD (Manila): This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , +639178514890

NOTES TO THE EDITOR

LDC Watch is a global alliance of national, regional and international civil society organisations (CSOs), networks and movements based in the Least Developed Countries and supported by civil society from development partner countries. It is a member network of the Asian Peoples’ Movement on Debt and Development (APMDD).

APMDD, formerly the Jubilee South–Asia Pacific Movement on Debt and Development, is a regional alliance of peoples' movements and organisations, coalitions, and CSOs.

The full statement calling for Nepal’s debt cancellation can be accessed at http://www.apmdd.org/our-programs/global-and-public-finance/statements/288-total-and-unconditional-debt-cancellation-for-nepal

The latest debt report of the Nepali government can be accessed at http://www.fcgo.gov.np/wp-content/uploads/Quarterly-Debt-Position_3rd_quarter_2071-72.pdf

ON WORLD PUBLIC SERVICES DAY, 23 JUNE 2015: Tax Justice towards the enjoyment of our basic human rights!

On June 23 we mark World Public Services Day to call attention to millions of peoples in Asia living in conditions of impoverishment and deprivation. Many of them are without even the most essential services such as water and health that are required to have decent and humane lives.

Many Asian governments have resorted to privatizing social services, citing financial incapacity to continue providing these. They have also persisted in depending on borrowings and foreign investments to support the development of infrastructure in sectors as basic as primary and maternal health, education and literacy, community development, disaster preparedness and climate resilience. For instance, public expenditures for health have consistently remained below the 5% of GDP international standard resulting, among others, in a regression of the Maternal Mortality Ratio from 162 to 221 for the Philippines and from 228 to 359 for Indonesia.

Yet we find that governments are giving away the very revenues critical to providing these social services. Asia has been found to have the biggest share of policy changes, including tax policies, to accommodate far-reaching investment incentives. In such a context, it is not surprising that the region has been losing trillions of dollars in foregone revenues due largely to tax dodging practices of corporations.

Meanwhile, we are being taxed with grim regularity as waged workers. As ordinary consumers we are also unfailingly taxed through indirect or consumption taxes on a wide range of goods and services, thus unfairly increasing the economic burdens of lower income groups and the informal sector where women are especially concentrated. 

Developing country governments bend to the pressure of international financial institutions to increase indirect taxes such as VAT, despite acknowledging their unjust impacts, instead of compelling MNCs and rich individuals to pay their obligations. Instead of mobilizing the necessary finances for basic social services and development needs, they persist in a path of privatization and debt dependence. They violate a core principle of their authority to tax, that these revenues must be diligently raised and carefully used for the needs and interests of their people.

We believe that providing essential social services is a state obligation of the highest priority because it is critical to the enjoyment of many other human rights that states have committed to protect and fulfil. In fact, the state’s right to tax goes hand in hand with the state’s obligations to protect and uphold the rights of its citizens, promote equity and justice, provide for essential services and, be transparent and democratic in formulation and implementation of budget, spending and policies. Tax policies and systems should be aimed at raising resources for people’s basic and development needs, not as instrumental for ensuring more profits for corporations and the wealthy.

Today, we claim the resources that are rightfully ours to support urgent needs for food, health, water, energy, climate adaptation and other social services vital to our well-being and the enjoyment of our basic rights. We demand tax justice as a key requisite to our survival, a life of dignity and a humane and sustainable future.

Our money, our needs, our rights! Public revenues in public services! Scrap tax incentives for corporations and the rich! No to tax dodging by corporations and wealthy elites! Tax justice now!

 

Asian Peoples Movement on Debt and Development (a part of the Jubilee South network)