Churches speak out against tax dodging
Church Action on Poverty, Christian Aid, together with the General Secretaries of the Methodist Church, the United Reformed Church and the Baptist Union of Great Britain have today (22 June) written a joint letter to the Times newspaper speaking out against tax avoidance as an injustice that keeps some people poor while others get richer. In an age of austerity, it is the moral duty of individuals and companies alike to pay their taxes according to both the letter and the spirit of the law.
This autumn Christian Aid and Church Action on Poverty are taking the campaign for Tax Justice on the road for a seven week Tax Justice Bus Tour.
The message of the Tax Justice Bus Tour will be simple:
We believe in a world free from poverty and inequality.
A world where everyone has access to decent healthcare, education and essential services; a world where no one goes to bed hungry; a world where justice prevails.
Tax dodging is one key reason why such a world is beyond our reach – for now.
Tax dodging costs lives. It effectively amounts to robbing from the poor – in the UK and in poor countries – of the money that should be spent on education, health and welfare.
Tax dodging hurts all of us, especially when large global companies and big sums of money are involved. It robs countries of the taxes they’re owed – money that could be spent on essential services.
Paul Brannen of Christian Aid said: ‘By teaming up with church action on poverty we hope to explain via the tax justice bus the damaging impact tax dodging is having on poor people both in the developing world and in Britain and Ireland. As well as exposing this scandal we will be advocating solutions and encouraging politicians and church leaders to act.’
In poor countries, Christian Aid can show how tax dodging often means no clean water, sanitation, roads, schools or hospitals.
In the UK, Church Action on Poverty can show how it contributes to cuts in benefits for families, children and disabled people, less care for the elderly, less childcare, libraries, youth services and other vital community facilities,.
Financial secrecy is at the heart of this problem – especially the secrecy in tax havens. Tax dodgers must have nowhere to hide.
Church Action on Poverty and Christian Aid will be using the Tax Justice Bus Tour to call on church members and supporters across Britain and Ireland to join the movement for tax justice – and to call on the Prime Minister to take action now.
The Tax Justice Bus tour will start at the Greenbelt Festival in August, and over the next seven weeks visit towns and cities the length and breadth of England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.
For more information and to sign up visit: www.church-poverty.org.uk/taxbus