From Greece to Québec, unions, students, and social movements have effectively mobilized against austerity, but corruption has often been seen as a “bipartisan” issue. Groups like the Coalition Avenir Québec (CAQ) or the rightwing opposition in Brazil have positioned themselves as the champions of ethical government. The left needs to link corruption and austerity. Public sector unions will play a crucial role in this task. Austerity means cutting public service jobs, which leads to lucrative deals for private firms that cost more in the long run and create the “need” for further cuts. Tax evasion robs the public sector of the funds needed to provide services. Fighting austerity and fighting for tax justice go hand in hand. We need to explain how austerity and corruption are intimately connected and to fight the two-headed austerity-corruption beast.
Scott Chamberlain, ACFO/ACAF and Funding Democracy