Church Action for Tax Justice
What is Church Action for Tax Justice (CATJ)?
Church Action for Tax Justice (CATJ) is a programme of ECCR which campaigns on issues of tax justice both nationally and globally as a means to address poverty and inequality. Its fundamental aim is to campaign for a fairer, greener tax system which serves the common good and especially the needs of the most vulnerable.
What does CATJ aim to do?
- Raise awareness in Churches of the relationship between taxes, equality and public services
- Campaign for transparency and an end to tax dodging by both corporations and individuals
- Stimulate a conversation about the society we want to live in and the tax system that could deliver that
- Encourage Christians to promote Tax Justice through all they do
What is the Problem?
Both nationally and globally huge amounts of tax is both evaded and avoided, and sometimes the tax rules are unfair. Consider the following:
- In the UK, between £35bn and £90bn per year is not paid in tax that should be paid
- If you receive your income through shares, property or other valuable assets you pay a much lower rate of tax than if it comes from working
- The poorest households pay around 9% of their income in Council Tax, while the richest pay just 1%
- Taxes that affect the poorest most have increased over the last 30 years while taxes that affect the richest have been cut
- Taking into account all taxes plus growth in the value of their wealth, the effective tax rate for the poorest households is just over 40%, while for the richest it is merely 18%
- Tax loopholes and tax dodging deprive developing countries of up to $400bn per year – around 3 times the amount that is given in aid to those countries
In practice, this means that the average cleaner in the UK pays a higher rate of tax than the average CEO whose office is being cleaned, the average security guard pays a higher rate than the average executive whose building they are keeping safe. This is fundamentally unfair!
As a Christian organisation, we think fairness matters as our radical sense of equality is given to us by virtue of all of us being made in the image of God.
CATJ aims to address these issues through campaigning and awareness raising. More details about this work is available on the dedicated CATJ website: www.catj.org.uk