The Christian Aid and Church Action on Poverty 'Tax Justice Bus' reached Bristol this morning, as part of its journey across Britain and Ireland over the coming weeks.
From 24 August to 15 October, the Tax Justice Tour takes the campaign on the road to raise awareness of the impact tax dodging has on the poor, and to send a strong message to the British and Irish governments that it is time for them to take action to end it.
Christian Aid are running the tour in partnership with campaigners at the ecumenical group Church Action on Poverty, who bring the perspective of the impact tax dodging has on people in the UK.
The Tax Justice Tour will see them take their red double-decker bus across every region of England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Tax dodging costs poor countries an estimated $160 billion a year. This is one-and-a-half-times the international aid budget, and deprives poor communities of money that should be funding development - paying for schools, hospitals, infrastructure and other vital services.
Simon Barrow, co-director of the Christian think-tank Ekklesia, commented: "The Tax Justice Tour and its red double-decker bus is an excellent way to get local communities across Britain and Ireland involved in the campaign to end tax dodging, and to begin to restore a sense of financial justice in the midst of a global financial crisis mortgaged on greed and irresponsibility."
He added: "It remains a scandal that the poorest and most vulnerable people are being made to pay for austerity policies that ate making the problem worst and hitting those with least most. A radical shift in economic thinking towards sustainability, mutuality, cooperation and redistribution is required. This campaign from Christian Aid and Church Action on Poverty gives visibility to the problem and gets people talking about alternatives."
The Christian Aid report, False Profits, explains the maths, and the kind of damage this does to development.
* View and download the report: http://www.christianaid.org.uk/Images/false-profits.pdf
* More on the Tax Justice Tour campaign: http://tinyurl.com/chnttqh
* Christian Aid: http://www.christianaid.org.uk/
* Church Action on Poverty: http://www.church-poverty.org.uk/