19 February 2024 | Kathmandu, Nepal

We, participants from civil society organizations from around the globe, convened during the World Social Forum 2024 in Kathmandu, Nepal to voice our concerns against the unprecedented economic inequality further exacerbated by the pandemic, war, cost-of-living crises, and climate change impacts. We have gathered here to resist the neoliberal system that perpetuates the status quo or further enriches
the already affluent. In this Forum, we explored alternatives that envision a fair, rignts-based, equitable,
and ecologically just world.

Amidst the growing wealth and income disparity, we recognize that tax systems are failing to generate
adequate revenues to address the overlapping crises worldwide and invest in public services that reduce inequality. Moreover, overreliance on indirect and regressive taxation, as the case in many countries, hurts marginalised sectors and communities living in abject poverty. In this context, we firmly believe a progressive tax system that includes a tax on net wealth, is not only fair and just, it can be an effective policy tool for raising revenues and redistributing wealth. Combined with progressive public spending, it can help achieve a substantial reduction in poverty, and foster a fairer society with increased wages, benefits, and social protection. It can raise revenues urgently needed for climate action and a just transition away from fossil-fuel-based industries, for creating adequate green gender-just jobs, and for boosting investment in care infrastructure to alleviate women’s disproportionate care responsibilities. Domestic revenue mobilization based on progressive taxation further serves to build stronger and self-reliant economies that move away trom dependence on debt or aid.

We demand that corporations and the super-rich pay their fair share in taxes. We call upon the governments to increase taxes on corporations, the financial sector and the ultra-rich, introducing progressive taxes on corporate and personal income, net wealth, excess and windfall profits, digital
services, and financial transactions; instead of regressive taxes such as Goods and Service Tax
(GST), Value Added Tax (VAT) or sales tax. We demand universal access to free health, education and other public services, including care infrastructure, paid for by fair taxation, to reduce the cost of living and tree up women’s time spent in care work. We further urge governments and International Financial Institutions (IFls) to end austerity measures in the name of fiscal consolidation. We urge the governments to expedite gender budgeting processes to ensure that the fiscal system plays a transformative role in ending gender inequality.

Inequality is a political choice and we therefore need political will more than ever to build a more human economy—one that Is more equal and values what truly matters.

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