The Christian Socialist Movement (CSM), which seeks to represent Christians in the Labour Party, has said that the general election campaign has yet to address the moral issues raised by the banking crisis.
They called for “debate on how we run our financial system during the election campaign”, amidst fears that the issue is getting lost due to the media's narrow focus. They urged Christians to highlight the moral failures at the heart of the economic crisis.
CSM also repeated their backing for a global tax on financial transactions.
“The recession was caused by a financial crisis, at the heart of which was greed and a lack of concern for others,” insisted CSM's Director, Andy Flannagan.
He pointed out that “The recession caused unemployment for millions and was even worse for the very poor. That is why we cannot let the banks make the same mistakes again. We must not forget the needs of the poor in this election.”
CSM pointed out that the Labour manifesto commits to building international agreement for a global levy “so that banks across the world contribute fairly to the society in which they are based.”
But Christian leaders, including official representatives of Quakers, the Salvation Army and the United Reformed Church, last week criticised the Labour, Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties for failing to commit to the unilateral introduction of such a levy whether or not international agreement can be reached. They called for a “Robin Hood Tax”, a small tax on financial transactions that would be used to tackle poverty and climate change.
Flannagan said that “CSM supports Labour’s plans for a global bank levy. We also support Gordon Brown’s call for a global transaction tax.”
He pointed out that “CSM members have been campaigning for a transaction tax for years. The privilege of being border-crossing global citizens brings with it responsibilities to that globe, and for many years now, we have enjoyed the privileges without taking the responsibility.”
Flannagan added, “This tax will both regulate wild currency speculation, and raise vital funds for development. It’s not robbing from the rich – it’s just asking everyone to play their part as a citizen of the planet.”