Quakers in Britain support Taxes for Peace Bill

By agency reporter
July 21, 2016

Quakers in Britain support the Taxes for Peace Bill which was given its first reading in the House of Commons on19 July 2016. The second reading is scheduled for 2 December.

Ruth Cadbury, MP for Brentford and Isleworth and a Quaker, introduced the Income Tax (Non-Military Expenditure) Bill under a Ten Minute Rule motion.

One hundred years ago, Ruth Cadbury's grandparents were conscientious objectors in World War 1, serving to help the wounded on the battlefields in France. She said the Bill would make the hard won right of conscientious objection relevant to today's society.

The Bill would allow people to stop paying for war and weapons. It is not an exemption from paying taxes. Rather it redirects the appropriate percentage of income taxes away from military spending and towards conflict prevention programmes sponsored by the government.

Taxpayers would be able to express on their tax return their conscientious objection to the expenditure of their taxes on war or the preparations for war.

Conscience, who campaign to create a world where taxes are used to nurture peace, not pay for war, say that military taxation is the new form of conscription.

Helen Drewery of Quakers in Britain said, “Believing all life is sacred, Quakers abhor war and conscientiously object to paying someone to kill on our behalf. To prepare for war is failure; instead we want to invest in nonviolent solutions to conflict."

* Read the Taxes for Peace Bill here

* Quakers are known formally as the Religious Society of Friends. Around 23,000 people attend 480 Quaker meetings in Britain. Their commitment to equality, justice, peace, simplicity and truth challenges them to seek positive social and legislative change.

*Quakers in Britain http://www.quaker.org.uk/

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