Staff write letter in protest of the use of their taxes for military purposes

by Outreach ~ May 17th, 2016. Filed under: News.

Trident note soldier

Employees of Britain Yearly Meeting (BYM), the organisation that works on behalf of Quakers in Britain, have signed a joint letter to the treasury stating their conscientious objection to the payment of taxes for military purposes.

41 individuals have signed the letter, which asks for the recognition of “…our human right to exercise conscientious objection to war by ensuring that none of our taxes are being used for military purposes.”

Military tax is an issue which has long concerned the Religious Society of Friends in their commitment to actively opposing war, stating, “If our understanding of Friends’ Peace Testimony leads us to refuse to pick up a weapon ourselves and kill, directing our energies instead to healing and resolving conflict non-violently, does it not also lead us to withdraw our financial resources from killing and redirect them to peacebuilding?”

This concern has led to varying actions over the last 300 years, more recently including letters of protest to HMRC, the withholding of tax on behalf of employees of BYM, and the creation of our NGO – Conscience: Taxes for Peace Not War – to actively campaign for the right of conscientious objection to military tax.

In the most recent letter to HMRC, Staff have stated:

We believe that real, non-military security comes from building a fairer and more equal world and not from costly and ineffective military interventions abroad. Alternative solutions are both more effective and cost effective. Diplomacy, peacebuilding, conflict resolution and overseas aid are forms of security for which we can pay tax with a clear conscience. We therefore request that the part of our taxes that is currently used for military purposes be diverted to a special fund which is used only for non-military forms of security.”

The staff of BYM are currently awaiting a response from the treasury, so keep up to date with our recent news to hear what the they have to say.

If you are concerned with the militarisation of your taxes,  write to your MP asking them to support the ‘Taxes for Peace’ Bill. Template letters for inspiration can be found here: http://www.conscienceonline.org.uk/template-letter-to-send-to-your-mp/

Don’t forget to keep us updated with any responses you get. For more information, contact outreach@conscienceonline.org.uk


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