Tax Justice UK recently undertook a project to define its long-term vision.
We asked ourselves: what kind of country do we want the UK to be in ten, 20 or 50 years’ time – and how can we change the tax system to get there?
These aren’t abstract questions. With inequality growing, public services on their knees and an impending climate emergency, it’s never been more important to define what an alternative future could look like.
We've recently spent time with other members of the tax justice movement thinking about how we address these problems. Below is the result.
What's our vision?
Our country is facing four major crises. There is an alternative and the tax system can play a big role in getting us there.
The first crisis we identified was the state of our NHS and public services. They’re on their knees and need more funding to survive. Our vision is for good quality public services, supported in part by higher taxes on wealth and the biggest companies.
The second crisis is rampant inequality. A small minority hold huge and growing wealth, while everyone else is getting poorer, with the cost of living crisis accelerating these trends.
We believe a country where wealth and opportunities are evenly spread across the population is possible. How do we do this? The tax system needs to be rebalanced so that the super-wealthy are taxed significantly more, with the money re-invested in supporting the country as a whole.
The third crisis is climate and environmental breakdown. We need rapid decarbonisation and a transition to a more sustainable economy. The tax system needs to raise money to support efforts to tackle global heating. We also need to end the way the tax system subsidises carbon emissions, for example the current big tax breaks for new oil and gas exploration.
Finally, our democracy itself is under threat with power and wealth concentrated in the hands of so few. Our tax system currently favours this elite. We want to see a society where the tax system is set up to help the majority, not just the rich.
All of our work aims to resolve these crises, using tax to pursue the vision we believe is possible.
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