We spoke with Holly Wallis, Parliamentary Officer with Conscience on the #PeaceTaxBill, that is due to be read in May.
Conscience: Taxes for peace Not War campaigns for individuals who want, in all good faith, to contribute their fair amount of tax, yet cannot reconcile their conscience with the deliberate killing the government sanctions and carries out in their name.
Ruth Cadbury MP is introducing a bill to Parliament on behalf of Conscience which would allow for the right of conscientious objection to military tax (COMT). The Taxes For Peace Bill would provide the freedom of conscience to those who are morally, ethically or religiously opposed to war to be able to re-direct the military portion of their taxes towards a fund designated for non-military security – a Peace Tax Fund.
100 years ago this year, the WW1 Military Service Act simultaneously introduced compulsory military service and the inclusive right to conscientious objection in Britain for the first time. Since 1916, the right to freedom of conscience has been recognised in every significant international treaty. The European Convention on Human Rights, United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and the British Human Rights Act all testify that everyone has the right to “…freedom of thought, conscience and religion.”
Modern wars, however, are no longer fought with conscript armies in this country, but with professional armies, high-tech weapons, and the ideology of deterrence - paid for with our taxes. This is financial conscription with no right to object.
At a time when Britain is spending £105,000 of the taxpayer’s money every time it fires a Brimstone Missile, Conscience’s Bill recognises the right to invest in a culture of peace rather than war. It is a government’s duty to keep its people safe and secure, and that is something we should all contribute to financially. This does not mean, however, that this security can only be established through threat of violence and overseas killing. Peacebuilding is a more sustainable, effective and economic form of security. Investment in our planet is a method of prevention rather than cure.
SUPPORT THE #PeaceTaxBill TODAY:
- Go to Conscience’s website and register your objection to funding war in support of the #PeaceTaxBill @
- Contact your MP, asking them to support the Taxes for Peace Bill and EDM 1036 @ conscienceonline.org.uk/template-letter-to-send-to-your-mp/
- Keep up to date with the progress of the #PeaceTaxBill on their Facebook page @ facebook.com/taxesforpeacenotwar/ and Twitter @taxesforpeace