This week the Tax Justice Bus visited Liverpool and Warrington on the last leg of its 53-day tour of the UK and Ireland. Christian Aid’s and Church Action on Poverty’s Tax Justice Bus has been stopping off around the country, highlighting how global tax dodging is hurting the poor in the UK and beyond.
In Warrington, Many people climbed on board the 1960s red double decker bus, including the Bishop of Warrington, Reverend Richard Blackburn, the Mayor of Warrington, Councilor Steve Wright, and the Methodist Chair of the Liverpool District, Reverend James Booth. All visitors were invited to learn how tax dodging by multinational companies costs developing countries at least $160 billion a year. Tax dodging also impacts the UK, with £35 billion uncollected.
Christian Aid and Church Action on Poverty think the system must be changed and that David Cameron should use his global leadership to end financial secrecy, so tax dodgers have nowhere to hide. The charities want people to ‘Tick for tax Justice’ by signing a petition that calls on the Prime Minister to push for measures that would require:
• Companies to report on the profits they make and taxes they pay in every country in which they operate.
• Tax havens to automatically share information about the money flowing through them with other countries.
Niall Cooper, Church Action on Poverty, said: ‘At a time when spending cuts are having a devastating impact on the UK’s poorest people and communities, tax dodging is morally unacceptable. It amounts to robbing the poor. If the Government just collected the £35 billion of tax they know is going uncollected, they could invest properly in tackling UK poverty.’
Paul Brannen, Christian Aid, said: ‘We estimate that tax dodging by some unscrupulous multinational companies costs developing countries at least $160 billion a year, that’s one-and-a-half times the total global aid budget. It’s money that could be used to make huge improvements to public services such as healthcare and education, better enabling people to sustain themselves. By making changes to the tax system, people across the world can live healthier, happier and less hungry lives.’
To find out more about the Tax Justice Bus tour follow us on Twitter @taxbus2012, visit www.christianaid.org.uk/tax-bus
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