The global inequality crisis is reaching new extremes. Fighting inequality has been included in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) because of global agreement that inequality undermines sustainable development. This inequality crisis hinders Oxfam’s fight against poverty and our work to enable people to have a greater say in development policy and practice. However, extreme economic inequality is not inevitable – it is the result of policy and investment decisions and a political and economic ideology that serves the few at the expense of the many.
Oxfam sees fiscal justice as central to the fight against extreme economic inequality. Evidence shows that government policies on taxation and public spending can be among the best tools we have for tackling inequality if they are used to create an economic system that redistributes resources and power towards those who are most excluded and marginalised.
To address this, Oxfam and partners implemented the Mobilising Progressive Domestic Resources for Quality Public Services project (or the DRM project) in Kenya and Vietnam from December 2014 to June 2018, funded by the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland. The project is part of Oxfam’s broader, long-term strategy to fight inequality together with partners and allies by increasing people’s voices, and promoting progressive taxation and spending for essential services through the Fiscal Accountability for Inequality Reduction – Even It Up (FAIR–EIU) programme. This puts national change at the heart of its approach as this provides the best opportunities for inclusive decision making and the empowerment of people and civil society for lasting change.