Archbishop of Canterbury speaks out for tax justice

By staff writers
February 4, 2015

Archbishop Justin Welby’s comments about the importance of companies paying their fair share of tax in the countries where they make their money are extremely welcome, says UK-based churches' global development agency Christian Aid.

“We are delighted to hear the Archbishop speaking out about this great problem of our time. Many big companies are abusing their power and failing to contribute their fair share back to society, both in the UK and in developing countries,” said Toby Quantrill, Principal Economic Justice Adviser at Christian Aid.

“There is a huge moral dimension to tax so it is especially good to hear Justin Welby bringing his moral authority, as well as his business experience, to bear on the subject.

“Ahead of the UK general election, we and others are challenging all political parties to commit to introducing a Tax Dodging Bill to tackle many of the problems he highlighted.”

The Archbishop of Canterbury’s comments came in an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme ahead of a speech he will give this evening (4 February 2015) about the importance of reconnecting wealth creation with social justice.

In the radio interview, he spoke out strongly about the principle of companies paying tax where they earn their money. He also linked the misuse of the tax system to the accumulation of wealth and power that results from the growing inequality in society.

He told the BBC: "There has always been the principle that you pay tax where you earn the money. If you earn money in a particular country, the revenue service of that country needs to get a fair share of what you have earned."

Tax avoidance, and its impact in poor countries, is something that Christian Aid has campaigned on for many years. In 2014, it explored the links between tax, theology and morality, in the report Tax for the Common Good.

The campaign for a Tax Dodging Bill is sponsored by 17 organisations and supported by many others, including Christian Aid, Oxfam, Action Aid, Church Action on Poverty, the Church Urban Fund, the NUS, the Equality Trust, and Ekklesia.

* Tax Dodging Bill: Time for Change (report, via Ekklesia): http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/21385

* Tax Dodging Bill website: http://www.taxdodgingbill.org.uk

* Christian Aid: https://www.christianaid.org.uk

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