Thursday, September 06, 2012

Uncounted - is tax justice 'too political'?

From Alex Cobham's new blog Uncounted:
This week, Save the Children launched what the Guardian referred to as ‘its first domestic fundraising campaign‘, seeking £500,000 to help fight child poverty in the UK.
He notes there has been some praise for their decision to broaden their focus beyond 'developing countries' and towards development in its home base, the UK. But there has been some criticism too, much of which focused on the NGO being 'too political'. And here it gets interesting:
"Somehow it’s ok, more or less, to challenge policy thinking on international development; but not so much when it comes to domestic policy. In that sense, it really shouldn’t happen here.

I experienced a similar dynamic when I worked for Christian Aid and we launched the tax justice campaign, seeking greater transparency from corporate accounts and tax havens in order to reduce tax losses in developing countries (and corruption everywhere). Suddenly, after decades of lobbying for policy changes to promote the end of poverty, Christian Aid was accused of being too political, by all sorts of people including long-term supporters.

Well do I remember my first phonecall from the then Bishop of Winchester, whose bishopric includes Jersey… but that’s another story. On that note though, I see Christian Aid have teamed up with the (UK-focused) Church Action on Poverty to run a Tax Justice Bus tour that combines the domestic and international concerns on tax dodging.
We do get people's backs up. And, we think, for all the right reasons. We won't be stopping any time soon.

Read more on that Jersey blackmail episode here. And, if you read that other blog, there's still no response from Jersey on the subject of a stand-up debate with TJN.

Are they afraid of something?

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