Baptist Union backs anti-tax dodging campaign to tackle poverty

By staff writers
4 May 2011

The Baptist Union of Great Britain (BUGB) has voted to work with other churches against big companies which avoid paying tax to the detriment of the world's poor.

A BUGB resolution, which aligns with the Christian Aid 'Trace the Tax' campaign, was passed at the weekend.

It commits the British network of Baptist congregations to raising its concerns over tax dodging with the government.

It asks BUGB to highlight the "negative impacts of tax dodging and avoidance by some companies, which are estimated to cost poor countries $160 billion each year".

The Baptist Union of Great Britain is calling on the UK government to "show international leadership in negotiating international tax transparency for all multi-national companies and an end to tax haven secrecy".

In proposing the resolution, BUGB treasurer Malcolm Broad declared that eliminating widespread tax avoidance by the richest corporations could help poorer countries overcome the problems they face

"It is vital that the underlying structural causes of injustice in our world are addressed if poverty is ever to be overcome," he said, adding that "tax dodging is increasingly recognised as one of those structural causes too important to ignore. Baptists need to join this campaign."

The resolution was seconded by BMS World Mission, an agency which works collaboratively with Baptists and other evangelical Christians in promoting the Gospel message.

Christian Aid, the UK-based international global development agency supported by some 40 churches and church-related bodies in Britain, has played a leading role in the anti-tax dodging campaign. The URC, Methodist and others have also spoken out.

Through its Trace the Tax campaign, Christian Aid is calling upon governments to enforce country-by-country reporting in order to make multinational companies more transparent about the profits they make and the taxes they pay in each of the countries they work in.

Christian Aid's economic justice campaigns officer Alasdair Roxburgh commented: "Christian Aid is delighted that the Baptist Assembly has given its support to our Trace the Tax campaign. It is a massive boost to the campaign and sends a clear signal that Baptist churches see this as a serious issue."

The Baptists work at a prcatical and policy level with the Methodist Church and the United Reformed Church through their Joint Public Issues Team.

More on the Trace the Tax campaign: http://www.christianaid.org.uk/ActNow/trace-the-tax/index.aspx

Buy Christian Aid charity gifts and support present aid online.

[Ekk/3]

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