Page 13, 26th March 2010

26th March 2010
Page 13
Page 13, 26th March 2010 — Tax is not a subjective issue for Catholics

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Tax is not a subjective issue for Catholics

From Mr Chris Bain, director of Cafod SIR – Like Professor Philip Booth (Letters, March 12), I too believe that banks should be held financially responsible for their actions, but I also believe that taxation is a necessary tool to create a more equitable world. This is not just a “subjective political issue”: Catholic teaching has long accepted that economic structures which deny the poor justice can be sinful, and therefore are immoral. Indeed, in his encyclical Caritas in Veritate Pope Benedict XVI says these structures must promote distributive justice and the common good.

The Robin Hood Tax is not designed to regulate banks. It is a small tax on financial transactions which could raise hundreds of billions of pounds to fight poverty, protect public services and tackle climate change. This is why Cafod supports it.

It’s also impressive that Prof Booth has such a grasp on my political views which close friends and colleagues struggle to define! He cites my support for home ownership for the less well off. I know little about the US situation but it’s true: I did support Margaret Thatcher’s plan to sell council houses to tenants, though I did want her to build more homes with the proceeds. It’s also true that I applaud the support for transaction taxes by the Conservative front bench, and indeed by the Government itself.

Yours faithfully, CHRIS BAIN London SW9

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