Rowan Williams to launch church campaign for tax justice

Former archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams is to help launch a new Christian campaign for tax justice tomorrow.

With the former bishop of Oxford, Richard Harries, he will speak at the launch of Church Action for Tax Justice in the House of Lords.

The campaign is designed to highlight the urgency of creating fairer and more effective tax systems to provide more funding for public services, in the UK and internationally.

PixabayChurch Action for Tax Justice is to be launched in the House of Lords.

Lord Williams, who is chair of Christian Aid, said before the launch: 'The creation of this new church-wide movement is timely. If businesses really believe – and want others to believe – that what they do builds genuine, shared prosperity in countries that need it, they should be eager to support fairer tax regimes and to play their full part in creating the sustainable infrastructure that such regimes make possible.

'For this, transparency is essential, and it is good that we are already seeing progress in this area. But we can do even better and it is urgent that we do so.'

Rev Michaela Youngson, president-designate of the Methodist Church, said: 'Tax justice matters to Methodists. We can see the results of injustice in our communities in Britain and internationally. Church members across London are at the forefront of tackling the dramatic inequalities in wealth and well-being, which trap people in poverty and debt. We want to not just lament the outcomes of unjust tax and resource distribution, but challenge our political and financial authorities to do much, much better.'

Ending financial secrecy in UK tax havens like the British Virgin Islands is one of the 'holy trinity' of reforms the movement will pursue, along with changes to the way large multinational companies are taxed.

In addition, the new campaign will call on churches themselves to make more vocal use of their power as investors in major companies.