MPs launch new Conscience Objection Bill

By agency reporter
March 15, 2016

March 2nd 2016 marked 100 years since the first inclusive right of conscientious objection became law in the United Kingdom.

To commemorate the centenary, the NGO Conscience: Taxes for Peace not War, hosted a discussion evening featuring MPs from three different parties and Sir Richard Jolly, a former United Nations Assistant Secretary General.

It also served as the launch of the 'Taxes for Peace Bill' legislation which would bring conscientious objection into the 21st century by allowing people who object to funding war to re-direct the military portion of their taxes to non-violent methods of sustaining our national security.

The Bill will be tabled later this year by Ruth Cadbury MP, a Quaker, members of whose family were World War I conscientious objectors

When talking about the Bill Ruth Cadbury said: "In an age where more and more people are concerned about spending their money ethically, this is an idea whose time has come."

Ruth was joined by Liz Saville-Roberts MP, who spoke of the history of war resistance in Wales. Michelle Thomson MP then spoke of her opposition to war and nuclear weapons from a Scottish perspective. Kelvin Hopkins MP also gave a talk describing his four decades of peace campaigning.

All of these MPs and more have pledged support of the Taxes for Peace Bill, and have also supported an Early Day Motion highlighting the issue.

They were joined by Robin Brookes, a peace campaigner who has unsuccessfully attempted to prevent his taxes being spent on military activity both by withholding taxes and seeking a judicial review of the definition of CO status with respect to taxation.

Ruth Cadbury added: "I want to pay for our national security, in fact I want to strengthen it, the Taxes for Peace Bill does this by investing in the most effective form of defence – conflict prevention."

 

* For more details see Conscience website: 

[Ekk/5]

 

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