UK Rabbi takes on tax dodgers
Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks has criticised people who try to avoid paying tax in the current economic climate. Addressing the annual dinner of the Jewish Assocation of Business Ethics in London on Tuesday night, he said: "I think individuals have to say 'if I belong in this society, I have to share in the fate of this society'.We agree, of course, as did a bunch of protesters in London this week. Well said. But now here is a shocker, from the same story.
"Where everyone else is suffering, it is morally wrong to say 'I am going to take myself out of it'. Even if you can justify it, the fact is we're all in this together."
When Mr Randall asked whether any of the 320 guests agreed with the Chief Rabbi's views on tax avoidance, only two raised their hands.And this was a business ethics meeting? What kind of business ethics are being discussed here?
It is the role of leaders to lead, even when their followers don't get it. Leadership takes courage in the face of nay-sayers and doubters, and we are delighted to see Lord Sacks carrying out his responsibilities in full in this respect. And let's face it, we are talking about universal human values here. And the ideas at the core of a tax justice agenda are very, very simple indeed. As Lord Sacks put it:
Any business that is seen to be taking wealth out of the country and not giving back to the community will find itself morally unacceptable.