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New Oxfam publication on capture fiscal policy, and its impacts on inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean

"Captured Democracy: Government for the Few: How elites capture fiscal policy, and its impacts on inequality in Latin America and the Caribbean (1990-2017), Executive Summary", November 2018

…Fiscal policies increase poverty in six countries in Latin America and the Caribbean…meaning that after the state has collected taxes and spent them on public policies, more people are living in poverty than before the state intervened. A functioning democracy must not allow this to happen. This executive summary summarises the main findings of the Captured Democracy: Government of the few report, which analyses 13 cases in which elites have played a part in driving fiscal policies that were either regressive or not very progressive. It lists the most common mechanisms used, and sets out a series of recommendations for governments to ensure better quality democracies that guarantee the common good, reduce poverty and inequality, and eliminate situations in which people are divided into first- and second class citizens. The debate about inequality is essentially political. The time has come to tackle state capture. Democracies must play a role in guaranteeing that conflicts of interest are discussed in the public arena, and that this leads to guaranteed respect for the rights and well-being of the whole population. Citizen participation is key for ensuring a counterbalance to the interests of the elites in process of discussing and defining public policies…