This Sunday – 14th June 2020 – has been designated Tax Justice Sunday by Church Action for Tax Justice (CATJ) which is a national body set up over a year ago following an initiative by the Methodists in the West Midlands and involving a range of (Christian) churches in the UK including Britain Yearly Meeting. The West Midlands branch has two Quakers from CEQ on its committee.
The tax system can play a vital role in building a more just and sustainable society and in fostering good relations between human beings. However, in its statement this month in the light of the Coronavirus Pandemic “A Fair Share for a Fairer World”, CATJ points out that in the UK, between £35bn and £90bn per year is not paid in tax that should be paid, almost all of this by the very wealthy. Taking into account all taxes plus growth in the value of their wealth, the effective tax rate for the poorest households is just over 40%, while for the richest it is merely 18%. Furthermore tax loopholes and tax dodging deprive developing countries of up to $400bn per year – around 3 times the amount that is given in aid to those countries.
Furthermore some of us have been concerned to learn that taxpayer funds are being made available to support companies which have a history of tax avoidance.
Various activities are happening here including a special service on the theme from at 6:30pm on Sunday June 14th which can be accessed through Facebook. CATJ have produced a video service (above), useable at any time, with an address by Dr Justin Thacker, the National Coordinator, together with bible studies, worship material and reflection on what justice should mean in our tax system. CEQ Peace Committee are discussing the possibility of an event in the future, and on Sunday we ask local meetings to hold in the light all those working for a fair and just tax system.