4 February 2015 -Archbishop Justin Welby’s comments today about the importance of companies paying their fair share of tax in the countries where they make their money are extremely welcome, says Christian Aid.
'We are delighted to hear the Archbishop speaking out about this great problem of our time. Many big companies are abusing their power and failing to contribute their fair share back to society, both in the UK and in developing countries,' said Toby Quantrill, Principal Economic Justice Adviser at Christian Aid.
'There is a huge moral dimension to tax so it is especially good to hear Justin Welby bringing his moral authority, as well as his business experience, to bear on the subject.
'Ahead of the UK general election, we and others are challenging all political parties to commit to introducing a Tax Dodging Bill to tackle many of the problems he highlighted.'
The Archbishop of Canterbury’s comments came in an interview with BBC Radio 4’s Today programme ahead of a speech he will give this evening about the importance of reconnecting wealth creation with social justice.
In the radio interview, he spoke out strongly about the principle of companies paying tax where they earn their money. He also linked the misuse of the tax system to the accumulation of wealth and power that results from the growing inequality in society.
He told the BBC: 'There has always been the principle that you pay tax where you earn the money. If you earn money in a particular country, the revenue service of that country needs to get a fair share of what you have earned.'
Tax avoidance, and its impact in poor countries, is something that Christian Aid has campaigned on for many years. In 2014 we explored the links between tax, theology and morality, in our report Tax for the Common Good.
The campaign for a Tax Dodging Bill is supported by 17 organisations, including Christian Aid, Oxfam, Action Aid, Church Action on Poverty, the Church Urban Fund, the NUS and the Equality Trust.
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Notes to editors:
1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 50 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.
2. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change explains how we set about this task.
3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development. Further details at http://actalliance.org
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5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid, visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk