Churches unite for tax justice

Church leaders from across the denominations are calling for political action to end tax evasion.

In a letter to Yorkshire MPs and MEPs, they say that tax dodging is allowing some to get richer while others are kept in poverty.

The church leaders want the UK to take a lead in promoting tax transparency and ensure companies and individuals are not able to avoid tax through legal loopholes.

The call coincides with Poverty and Homeless Action Week and comes just days after a coalition of development organisations launched the IF campaign to end hunger around the world.

Christian Aid estimates that tax dodging by multinational companies is costing developing countries at least $160 billion a year – more than the global aid budget.

Signatories of the letter include the Bishop of Pontefract and chair of the West Yorkshire Ecumenical Council, the Right Reverend Tony Robinson, Pastor Gloria Hanley of the West Yorkshire African Caribbean Council of Churches, The Salvation Army's Lt Col Bill Heeley, and the Reverend Graham Ensor of the Yorkshire Baptist Association.

Bishop Robinson said: "Tax avoidance denies help to the poorest and most vulnerable people both here in the UK and in developing countries. This is morally unacceptable.

"As representatives of the churches of West Yorkshire we call on our politicians to take action to ensure multinational corporations pay their rightful share of tax in the countries they operate."

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