Tax Justice Bus stops off in Hull
A BUS driving a UK-wide campaign for tax justice has stopped off in Hull.
The double decker bus visit was organised by Christian Aid and Church Action on Poverty to highlight how global tax- dodging is hurting the poor around the world.
The Tax Justice Bus pulled into the Endsleigh Centre in Beverley High Road, Hull, on day 47 of its 53-day tour of the UK and Ireland.
Sylvia Usher, of west Hull, who was the local organiser from Christian Aid, said: "The aim is to show that individuals can make a difference and have an impact.
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"We pay our taxes, so why shouldn't the big multi-national businesses?
"We have a vote and I would urge people to contact their local MP. There is a big G8 meeting coming up next year in which the world's biggest leaders will be in Britain.
"We have an influence on the agenda and need to make sure our MPs know this is what we want to be discussed."
Dozens of people from all over East Yorkshire attended the meeting, which included talks by Dr Dereje Alemayehu, chair of the Tax Justice Network Africa, and Graham Martin, a campaigner with York Welfare Campaign and Church Action on Poverty.
Among the guests was the Bishop of Hull, the Right Reverend Richard Frith.
He said: "The statistics speak for them self. Tax justice is very important. There is no kudos in tax evasion.
"Local people can make a difference."
The organisers says tax- dodging is an injustice that keeps some people poor while others get richer.
Paul Brannen, of Christian Aid, said: "We estimate that tax- dodging by some unscrupulous multinational companies costs developing countries at least £100bn a year – that's one-and-a- half times the total global aid budget.
"It's money that could be used to make huge improvements to public services, such as healthcare and education, better enabling people to sustain themselves.
"By making changes to the tax system, people across the world can live healthier, happier and less hungry lives."
Christian Aid and Church Action on Poverty think the system must be changed and that Prime Minister should use his global leadership to end financial secrecy, so tax-dodgers have nowhere to hide.
A spokesman from Christian Aid said: "It robs countries of the taxes they are owed, money that could be spent on essential services such as health, education and welfare."
Both the Prime Minister and Chancellor have condemned aggressive tax avoidance as morally wrong.
Niall Cooper, of Church Action on Poverty, said: "At a time when spending cuts are having a devastating impact on the UK's poorest people and communities, tax dodging is morally unacceptable.
"If the Government just collected the £35bn of tax they know is going uncollected, they could invest properly in tackling UK poverty."
The Tax Justice Bus will be making more than 100 stops from Falmouth to Dover with thousands of politicians, church leaders campaigners and members of the public stepping aboard to show their support for an end to tax-dodging.