The Tax Justice Bus has been on tour in the UK for 53 days raising awareness of how tax avoidance affects the poor in the developing world and also here at home. Church Action on Poverty has joined forces with Christian Aid to man the bus, and representatives from both groups have been giving information to people boarding the bus. It came to Yorkshire from 9th-11th October, and I joined the bus in Morley.
Tax avoidance robs developing countries of US$160bn every year - one and a half times the international aid budget. In this country at least £35bn lost to the public purse through tax avoidance is increasing pressure on the UK government to make spending cuts, with many of the poorest communities being hit the hardest. Examples of these cuts were given to us by members of the group.
Large multinational companies and some individuals use tax havens to hide their profits, paying minimal tax, money which could provide education and health care in the developing world and which would mean this country would not have to have such harsh cuts in services. Christian Aid and Church Action on Poverty are calling on people to send cards to David Cameron urging him to use his global leadership to end financial secrecy; to push for measures that require companies to report on the profits they make and taxes they pay in every country in which they operate; and for tax havens to share information automatically with all other countries about the money flowing through them. More information is available on the Christian Aid website and there is an opportunity to record your support.
There are cards on the table in the foyer for you to take and send for the attention of David Cameron. Please fill one in or go to the Christian Aid website and give your support for change.