OVER 20 prominent Christian leaders including the former Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams, the current Bishops of Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, Stepney, Carlisle and Barking as well as several charity leaders, academics and theologians have signed an open letter to the leaders of the Conservative, Liberal Democrat and Labour parties urging them to “seek the welfare of the nation” through fairer taxation.

The letter, written by the JustMoney Movement, urges the leaders, if elected to form a Government in the upcoming General Election to:

  • Help shift the narrative on tax, so it is seen as a blessing and not a burden, a vital tool for shaping a better society.
  • Work towards reforming the tax system so everyone contributes a fair share.

The letter states that ‘the tax system as it currently stands is unfair’ often enabling the wealthiest in society to avoid paying the taxes they owe through the use of tax havens, passing on assets through family trusts, or using various exemptions built into the system, whilst the poorest contribute disproportionately to society.

Sarah Edwards, Executive Director of the JustMoney Movement, said: “It’s more important than ever to talk about tax. Taxes are part of everyday life: they are a tool of government in seeking a society where everyone can flourish. A fairer tax system could address inequality and raise revenue towards strengthening our public services and tackling the breakdown in our climate and nature. That’s why we are calling for fairer taxes – to get us closer to the kind of just, compassionate society we see in the biblical Jubilee and in Jesus’s kingdom values.”

The Rt Rev Dr Rowan Williams, Former Archbishop of Canterbury, said: “It’s time to challenge the narrative about taxation as some sort of irrational imposition by a distant and greedy government and connect it again with our basic responsibility for one another in society. But this can’t happen unless people trust the system to be both fair and effective. What we are seeking is a grown-up discussion of all this – not uncritical, but not unrealistic or resentful, grounded in the biblical vision of our call to serve and protect one another as the foundation of a durable and dependable social order.”

Signatories include:

Sarah Edwards, Executive Director, JustMoney Movement
The Rt Rev Dr Rowan Williams, Former Archbishop of Canterbury
The Rt Rev David Walker, Bishop of Manchester
The Rt Rev John Perumbalath, Bishop of Liverpool
The Rt Rev Nicholas Baines, Bishop of Leeds
The Rt Rev Andrew Watson, Bishop of Guildford
The Rt Rev Dr Joanne Grenfell, Bishop of Stepney
The Rt Rev Lynne Cullens, Bishop of Barking
The Rt Rev Rob Saner Haigh, Acting Bishop of Carlisle
Hannah Rich, Director, Christians on the Left
Bishop Mike Royal, General Secretary, Churches Together in England
The Rev Helen Cameron, Moderator of The Free Churches Group
The Rev Dr Duncan Dormor, General Secretary, USPG
Holly-Anna Petersen, Director, Christian Climate Action
Colin Date, Acting Chair, Christian Concern for One World
The Rev Dr Darrell Hannah, Chair, Operation Noah
Deborah Tomkins, Chair, Green Christian
The Very Rev David Monteith, Dean of Canterbury
The Rev Jeff Williams, President, Union of Welsh Independents
Paul Southgate, Chair, The Northumbria Industrial Mission
Dr Selina Stone, Durham University and JustMoney Movement Patron
The Rev Dr Nick Moore, Warden, Cranmer Hall, Durham
Gareth McNab, Director of External Affairs, Christians Against Poverty
The Rt Rev Laurie Green
The Rt Rev Dr Tim Ellis, Assistant Bishop, Diocese of Sheffield
Canon Giles Goddard, Chair, Faith for the Climate

* Read the letter in full here.

* Source: JustMoney Movement