Stop tinkering with tax rates and offer real reform to address poverty, charities tell Government


As the Government announces a 2p cut in national insurance in its 2024 budget, Quakers have joined 90 other organisations in calling for real tax reform.

With millions of families struggling to afford food and energy, real changes to the way wealth and the income it brings is taxed could raise the revenue to tackle the cost-of-living crisis, they said in a letter to Chancellor Jeremy Hunt.

Quakers welcomed the surprise scrapping of the non-domiciled tax status, which gives generous tax cuts to some of the UK’s wealthiest residents, but said they were waiting to see the detail of what would replace it.

“What we need to see is the end of financial support for the oil and gas industry, whether through licensing rounds or tax relief.- Paul Parker

But with the National Institute for Economic and Social Research (NIESR) calculating that Britain’s poorest households are now £4,500 worse off than at the start of the Covid pandemic, organisations called for more action.

“Instead of tinkering with tax rates which will make little difference to most peoples’ finances, we urgently need policies which both address the immediate crisis and fix the structural problems with our economy that have led us to this point,” signatories wrote.

“That means taking action to reform broken markets, cracking down on excess profits, increasing investment in public services and infrastructure to secure a climate safe future.”

Despite the present and growing nature of the climate emergency, the Chancellor scrapped the planned unfreezing of fuel duty, at a cost of £2bn, and maintained the 5p cut to petrol taxes.

Quakers noted the extension of the windfall tax on energy companies to 2029 and the increase in Air Passenger Duty for business class passengers.

But they are extremely concerned about the continuing decline in interest in addressing climate issues. The government should go further and stop subsidising fossil fuel companies, they said.

Paul Parker, recording clerk for Quakers in Britain, said: “While it’s promising to see a tax on the obscene profits made by polluters continue, it’s a tax with a huge loophole and it does little to change the government’s disappointing lack of commitment to reach carbon zero.

“Our faith calls us to steward our beautiful home planet for future generations. What we need to see is the end of financial support for the oil and gas industry, whether through licensing rounds or tax relief.

“And billions of pounds of investment into warm homes, clean energy and support for communities affected by climate breakdown.”

Full letter and list of signatories here

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