West Yorkshire Church leaders press MPs and MEPs to take action for tax justice.
On Wednesday 30th January MPs and MEPs representing West Yorkshire received a letter from church leaders calling for concerted action from all political parties to address the issue of tax justice.
Senior church leaders and representatives from West Yorkshire Ecumenical Council (WYEC), have written during Poverty and Homelessness Action Week , based on their churches’ daily experiences of sheltering homeless people, feeding hungry people, clothing destitute people and supporting people crippled by debt. As the numbers of food banks and food parcels increase the sense of injustice at tax avoidance increases too.
The fourteen signatories were also keen to point out that tax dodging, in its various forms, is an injustice that keeps some people poor while others get richer. The letter comes following support from church leaders for Christian Aid and Church Action on Poverty’s Tax Justice campaigns.
Chair of WYEC, Bishop of Pontefract Tony Robinson said
‘Tax avoidance denies help to the poorest and most vulnerable people both here in the UK and in developing countries. This is morally unacceptable. As representatives of the churches of West Yorkshire we call on our politicians to take action to ensure multinational corporations pay their rightful share of tax in the countries they operate.’
The letter asks the MPs and MEPs representing West Yorkshire to:
- ensure the UK takes a lead in promoting transparency in the affairs of tax havens and the companies using them. Particularly whilst it chairs the G8 summit in June and also through the EU;
- ensure tax avoidance loopholes are closed for both companies and individuals;
- push for measures that would require companies to report on the profits they make and taxes they pay in every country in which they operate.
- push for measures that would require tax havens to automatically share information about the money flowing through them with other countries;
- ensure greater resources and energy are deployed to detect and prosecute those engaged in illegal tax evasion.
The signatories include:
- Rt. Revd. Tony Robinson, Bishop of Pontefract,
- Rt. Revd. Nick Baines, Bishop of Bradford;
- Revd. Graham Ensor, Regional
Minister, Yorkshire Baptist Association;
- Revd. Kenneth Evans, Chairman, Yorkshire District, Moravian Church;
- Pastor Gloria Hanley, West Yorkshire African Caribbean Council of Churches;
- Lt. Col. Bill Heeley, Divisional Commander, Salvation Army;
- Rt. Revd. Walter Jagucki, Bishop Emeritus, Lutheran Church of Great Britain;
- Rt. Revd. John Packer, Bishop of Ripon and Leeds;
- Eva Pinthus, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers);
- Rt. Revd. Stephen Platten, Bishop of Wakefield;
- Revd. Dr. Liz Smith, Chair, Leeds Methodist District;
- Revd. Dr. Roger Walton, Chair, West Yorkshire Methodist District;
- Revd. Kevin Watson, Moderator, Yorkshire Synod, United Reformed Church;