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Fair measures

The War Cry comments on taxes

Individuals and organisations benefit from services that are funded through our taxes

THE Fairtrade mark is familiar to many shoppers, featuring on £1.65 billion worth of products including bananas, coffee and bouquets of flowers. Through the work of the Fairtrade Foundation, 1.6 million farmers and workers from 74 developing countries receive a fair price for their goods.

The mark indicates to consumers the kind of conditions in which the people who produced the goods are working and the terms under which their goods are being bought. It means that, if people want to, they can decide to support ethical business practices that help make life better for others.

That concept is mirrored in the Fair Tax mark, which was introduced four years ago. It is awarded to organisations that pay the right amount of corporation tax at the right time and in the right place. It allows any customer who may use the organisation to know that they are dealing with a body that takes seriously its responsibility to pay tax.

It is supported by the newly formed Church Action for Tax Justice, which campaigns to make the UK’s tax system fairer.

In this issue of The War Cry, Church Action for Tax Justice’s chair, the Rev David Haslam, rather surprisingly confesses: ‘I enjoy paying tax.’

David’s rationale is that the taxes he pays contribute to the services that he and his family benefit from, such as healthcare, education and policing. He goes on to talk about the ‘injustice’ that exists when wealthy individuals and corporations avoid paying their fair share of tax by utilising ‘technically legal routes in tax havens’. David is adamant that such practices have an adverse effect on society.

He is right. Individuals and organisations benefit from services that are funded through our taxes. It is only right that each one of us should pay our fair share to make society better for everybody.

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