On Friday 1st February MPs and MEPs representing West Yorkshire will receive a letter from church leaders calling for concerted action from all political parties to address the issue of tax justice.


Click the link to view a copy of the letter

Tax Justice


As senior church leaders and representatives of West Yorkshire Ecumenical Council (WYEC), they write during Poverty and Homelessness Action Week (26th Jan – 3rd Feb), from the experience of their churches daily sheltering homeless people, feeding hungry people, clothing destitute people and supporting people crippled by debt.  As the numbers of food banks and food parcels increase the sense of injustice at tax avoidance increases too.


The fourteen signatories were keen to point out that tax dodging, in its various forms, is an injustice that keeps some people poor while others get richer. The price is not just paid here in the UK.  Christian Aid estimates that tax dodging by some unscrupulous multinational companies costs developing countries at least $160 billion a year, a figure one and a half times the global aid budget.


Chair of WYEC, Bishop of Pontefract Rt Revd Tony Robinson said ‘Tax avoidance denies help to the poorest and most vulnerable people both here in the UK and in developing countries.  This is morally unacceptable.  As representatives of the churches of West Yorkshire we call on our politicians to take action to ensure multinational corporations pay their rightful share of tax in the countries they operate.’


The letter asks the MPs and MEPs representing West Yorkshire to:


·         ensure the UK takes a lead in promoting transparency in the affairs of tax havens and the companies using them.  Particularly whilst it chairs the G8 summit in June and also through the EU;

·         ensure tax avoidance loopholes are closed for both companies and individuals;

·         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.

·         push for measures that would require tax havens to automatically share information about the money flowing through them with other countries;

·         ensure greater resources and energy are deployed to detect and prosecute those engaged in illegal tax evasion.


The letter comes following support from church leaders for Christian Aid and Church Action on Poverty’s Tax Justice campaign.


Promoting tax justice is part of the recently launched IF campaign (see and of Poverty and Homelessness Action Week (see


If you would like further information please contact Alex Jones 07816 749307 – 0113 244 4764


The signatories on the letter are:

·         Rt. Revd. Tony Robinson, Bishop of Pontefract and Chair of WYEC

·         Rt. Revd. Nick Baines, Bishop of Bradford

·         Revd. Graham Ensor, Regional Minister, Yorkshire Baptist Association

·         Revd. Kenneth Evans, Chairman, Yorkshire District, Moravian Church

·         Pastor Gloria Hanley, Representative West Yorkshire African Caribbean Council of Churches

·         Lt. Col. Bill Heeley, Divisional Commander, Salvation Army

·         Rt. Revd. Walter Jagucki, Bishop Emeritus, Lutheran Church of Great Britain

·         Rt. Revd. John Packer, Bishop of Ripon and Leeds

·         Eva Pinthus, Representative, Religious Society of Friends (Quakers)

·         Rt Revd. Stephen Platten, Bishop of Wakefield

·         Revd. Dr. Liz Smith, Chair Leeds Methodist District

·         Revd. Dr. Roger Walton, Chair West Yorkshire Methodist District

·         Revd. Kevin Watson, Moderator, Yorkshire Synod, United Reformed Church

·         Mgr John Wilson, Administrator, Catholic Diocese of Leeds


West Yorkshire Ecumenical Council

  1. For over 25 years, West Yorkshire Ecumenical Council (WYEC) has represented the churches of West Yorkshire and western North Yorkshire, building relationships between Christians of different backgrounds.
  2. WYEC is rooted in a covenant of senior church leaders and representatives from Anglican (Bradford, Ripon & Leeds, Wakefield dioceses), Baptist, Catholic, Lutheran, Methodist (Leeds, West Yorkshire districts), Moravian, Quaker, Salvation Army and United Reformed churches, together with the West Yorkshire African Caribbean Council of Churches (see
  3. WYEC church leaders have a long tradition of speaking with a common voice in matters of shared concern (see
  4. For more information about the work of West Yorkshire Ecumenical Council, visit


Christian Aid


  1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in 47 countries. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people build the lives they deserve.
  2. Christian Aid has a vision, an end to global poverty, and we believe that vision can become a reality. Our report, Poverty Over, explains what we believe needs to be done – and can be done – to end poverty.  Details at
  3. Christian Aid is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of 100 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance and development.  Further details at
  4. Follow Christian Aid's newswire on Twitter:
  5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid visit


Church Action on Poverty


  1. Church Action on Poverty is a national ecumenical Christian social justice charity, committed to tackling poverty in the UK. We work in partnership with churches and with people in poverty themselves to find solutions to poverty.
  2. Church Action on Poverty aims to: build a more just society; build the capacity of local communities to exercise power; build a movement for positive change; and change public perception sof people in poverty.
  3. Church Action on Poverty is campaigning to Close the Gap between rich and poor, in partnership with nine other Christian denominations and organisations. (see
  4. Follow Church Action on Poverty online at or

For more information about the work of Church Action on Poverty, visit


Tax Justice, Partington, Watson ®
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