04 February 2015, The Tablet

Welby tells business tax avoidance is a sin

Big business needs to pay its fair share of taxes, the Archbishop of Canterbury has said.

Archbishop Justin Welby was speaking to the BBC ahead of a lecture he is to give tonight in Westminster on economic fairness.

Asked if tax is a moral issue, the archbishop replied: “Of course,” adding that misusing power accrued through wealth is “what the Bible calls sin”.

Paying taxes was a way of expressing solidarity and acknowledging that a company benefits from the infrastructure and security of the country in which it is based, he said.

He also said businesses needed address the issue of remuneration. “There needs to be a sense of the effect of gross inequality when it is systemic,” he said.

The charity Christian Aid welcomed his comments. “We are delighted to hear the Archbishop speaking out about this great problem of our time.

Many big companies are abusing their power and failing to contribute their fair share back to society, both in the UK and in developing countries,” said Toby Quantrill, the charity’s Principal Economic Justice Adviser.

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