Church Action for Tax Justice was launched in the House of Lords on 17 April with the help of Rev Dr Rowan Williams and Methodist Church President Revd Michaela Youngson. It resources churches to include tax justice as a theme in their life and worship.
Recently Archbishop Justin Welby created a media storm following his speech to the TUC Congress on 12 September. He appealed for social justice in our economic system and spoke out against the ‘gig’ economy and against Amazon’s non-payment of tax in the UK.
Importantly he also painted a picture of the more just society we should aspire to:
“When justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream, the food banks close, the night shelters are empty, families and households are hopeful of better lives for themselves and their children, money is not a tyrant, and justice is seen.”
He was criticised by some who questioned the role of the Church in commenting on economic issues. David Haslam of the Church Action for Tax Justice (CAT) joined the debate with a letter to the Guardian pointing out that taxation and benefit policies often affect the poor and most vulnerable and that justice is the bedrock of Christian faith.
Tax dodging costs developing countries more than they receive in aid. Christian Aid’s excellent short video “Where has all the money gone?” includes significant voices from the global south.
From Rev Suzanne Matale of the Council of Churches, Zambia
“Tax dodging in Zambia a serious problem. We who work on this issue link it to our poverty levels in this nation. We know that Zambia is not a poor country. We know that we have very rich mineral in the ground. We know that the price of co an all-time high. We know that the investors that come to invest in our country are not paying the full value of tax that should go to Zambians.”
Alvin Mosioma, Tax Justice Network – Africa
“Africa is financing the world. There is much much more money flowing out of Africa to the north through existing global architecture which enables the rich, both the elites in Africa as well as the global multinational companies, to move resources from the south to the north.”
Savior Mwambwa – Centre for Trade Policy and Development, Zambia
“Its commonly known that countries that raise most of their money from tax they build their own local systems of democracy, their citizens have a bigger say.”
29th September – 5th October is Good Money Week. Why not look into what it means to be an Ethical Money Church here: http://www.eccr.org.uk/what-we-work-on/emc/
Find more resources at Your Faith Your Finance, here: http://www.yourfaithyourfinance.org/