An urgent moral case for tax justice

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There’s an excellent article by Jill Segger under the above title in Ekklesia. I offer this sample and recommend the rest:

During my adult life, there has been virtually no national moral conversation about progressive taxation. Progressive people have permitted their approach to be dictated entirely by the ideological Right. In default of a socially responsible voice making the case for income tax, it is now almost universally perceived as a burden to be avoided or evaded. Many libertarians delight in presenting it as something approaching an insult to personal liberty. An increasingly consumerist and individualist culture which tends towards indignation at anything it finds personally inconvenient, provides a receptive audience.

Because Labour has lacked the moral courage to challenge such a distorted and solipsistic view, it has always been on the back foot in responding to the Tory policy of tax cutting. Instead of presenting an unashamedly different and ethical approach to the funding of the services of a civilised democracy, it has squirmed and equivocated to its own detriment and, worse, to that of the moral vision of successive generations of tax payers. There are now two post-war generations who no longer understand income tax as being the subscription fee to the decent society.

As the author concludes:

Osborne has said “ I did not come into politics to raise taxes. I came into politics to do the best for the country”. That he depicts these as mutually exclusive indicates the moral impoverishment of our politics.