Why Should Tax Justice Be Part of the Solution to Finance Free Good Quality Education? A Multi-country Study: Pakistan, Ghana, Kenya and Uganda

  • Maria Ron-BalseraEmail author
Part of the Education, Equity, Economy book series (EEEC, volume 5)


It is estimated that there is a $39 billion annual financial gap to meet the Sustainable Development Goal for education; although this is a vast figure it pales in comparison to the tax incentives and tax avoidance figures, not to mention the tax evasion, or the illicit financial flows from developing countries estimated to be $800 billion (Kar & Spanjers, 2016). This chapter argues that we need to ‘talk tax’ when exploring avenues to tap the education financial gap, using Pakistan, Ghana, Kenya and Uganda as case studies to analyse the effect of the inadequate financing of education and to explore sustainable and equitable solutions. Drawing from data collected through surveys and participatory action research in each of these countries, this chapter reveals the costs borne by families both in public and private schools as well as the revenue lost to tax incentives. It concludes that progressive tax reform is not only the most sustainable and equitable way to finance education, but it is also essential for States to demonstrate that they are taking appropriate steps towards the full realisation of the right to education.


Tax justice Right to free education Financing for education Domestic resource mobilisation 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Right to Education Initiative / ActionAidLondonUK

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