Last year my friend and fellow Lutonian Andy Flanagan hatched the #PatriotsPayTax campaign with the team at Christians on the Left. This week they’ve launched a campaign video and a petition calling for a dedicated business unit within HMRC, Britain’s tax authority. The department is currently under-resourced, making it impossible to effectively chase up corporations and individuals who avoid their taxes.
#PatriotsPayTax is partly a response to the likes of Donald Trump, who claimed on the campaign trail that not paying his taxes made him smart. It’s also a neat example of re-framing an issue to cross political divides, and it was subsequently picked up by all Britain’s major parties during their conference season. Something similar was achieved with the Jubilee Debt campaign, which took a Christian principle and explained it in a way that caught people’s imaginations. (That idea is 20 years old now, believe it or not)
As Andy explains in the video, there’s no sacred/secular divide, no need to keep faith in a silo. Tax is a spiritual matter too. Whether you consider yourself a Christian or not, or on the left for that matter, it’s a petition worth supporting and you’ll find it here.