Tax for the common good: aÂ study of tax and morality
Christian Aid presents a theological and moral foundation for the campaign to promote tax justice.
Many developing nations are seriously affected by the way in which some multinational companies manipulate their profits to allow them to pay little or no tax in the countries in which they are operating.
As Esther Reed observes in her paper, this simply feels wrong to most people. These papers seek to explore what lies behind such a feeling and how it is anchored in some deep Christian instincts.
They also set out to give a picture of what good, effective and just taxation might be like.We need to be a bit cautious when we speak about justice. Often we work with a simple idea of justice as ‘what is owed to someone or something’; and if that is all there is to it, there is going to be a risk of turning it into a rather thin concept, without much positive emotional content or spiritual significance.
Walter Brueggemann, in his great Theology of the Old Testament, rightly insists that ‘justice’ in the Bible is about redistributing goods and power so that all may share what God has given the human race. This adds an important dimension of transformation to the picture. But it also needs a further dimension – a focus on just relationship – that is, not simply redistributed property and influence, but a positively renewed set of social interactions and mutual nurture.
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