*** DEBUG END ***

PM is ‘shameful’ on tax, says Cardinal O’Brien

03 May 2012

by Ed Thornton

Sharp criticism: Cardinal O’Brien PA

Sharp criticism: Cardinal O’Brien PA

CARDINAL Keith O’Brien, the Arch­bishop of St Andrews & Edin­burgh, has joined an earlier call by the Archbishop of Canter­bury and others for a “Robin Hood” tax on financial transactions (News, 25 March 2011).

Cardinal O’Brien wrote to the Prime Minister last week: “From the perspective of the Church, and in the eyes of the public, I’m sure, it is not acceptable for your Govern­ment to protect the very wealthiest people in our country at the ex­pense of the poor, as appears the case with your current opposition to the Robin Hood Tax.”

In a statement issued alongside the letter by the Scottish RC aid agency SCIAF, the Cardinal added that it was “shame­ful” that Mr Cameron was “protect­ing his wealthy friends in the City by his opposition to this simple, fair and sustainable financial-trans­actions tax”.

In an interview with BBC Scot­land on Sunday about the letter, Cardinal O’Brien described the Prime Minister’s opposition to the Robin Hood tax as “not moral”. He said that the Government had “lost touch really with the reality”.

He said: “The poor have suffered so much in recent years; and when I say poor . . . I mean people who would have thought themselves reasonably well off; people who have saved for their pensions, and now realise their pension funds are no more. . . It is immoral . . . just to ignore them, and to say ‘Just struggle along,’ and the rich can go on sailing on their own sweet way.”

Writing in Prospect magazine this month, the Archbishop of Can­terbury criticised treating “mon­etary accumulation as an absolute goal”, which obscured “the whole of our discourse about shared well-being, or the ‘common good’. . . Politics is trapped in discussion about efficiency and the maximis­ing of choice; the West, at least, is dominated by the assumption that the state exists to protect choice and to do so by protecting financial competitiveness in every sphere.”

Dr Williams said that it was “important that even the non-believer grasp that arguments based on the right to do what I like with what I ‘own’ need some hard scrutiny in a world where com­modification has become so much the prevailing trend.”

On Monday, at a meeting hosted by the Archbishop of York, Dr Sentamu, and the development agency the Anglican Alliance, the Bishop of Durham, the Rt Revd Justin Welby, said: “The question that faces the Church, both domestically and inter­nationally, is that of what is human flourishing — good news — amidst the deep poverty that still grips many parts of the world, and the utter spiritual bankruptcy and increasing material poverty in slump-hit Britain?”

He continued: “The Church has stood well for issues of justice in the House of Lords, and that sense of bias to the poor must be held. It is too easy to lose. . . Justice comes from not being compromised by our own self-protection; it calls for the in­stitution, as well as the individual, to be ready to lose all.”

Leader comment

Question of the Week:
Is David Cameron out of touch?


Priest in Charge (Rector Designate)

London and Home Counties

Our suburban parish on the border between the London Borough of Croydon and the lovely Surrey countryside and with a spacious modern Rectory, is seeking a Priest-in-Charge (Rector Designate) to lead our church as we seek to fulfil our mission to proclaim Jesus, change lives and serve our community.   We are looking for a leader who, with energy and dynamism, who will develop the vision for the church to enable the children and families work to be a priority in order to grow the church both in numbers and spiritual maturity. In addition, the new person will care and tend for the existing ageing congregation many of whom have ¬faithfully served the church for many years.   The person we are looking for should have: strong communication skills, the ability to engage and encourage people across the age ranges and to convey the church’s mission, vision and priorities; a commitment to preach the Word of God in thoughtful and stimulating ways; an energy and dynamism probably more extrovert than introvert; a pastoral heart, showing empathy and good listening skills, the ability, willingness and experience to help us to develop and enjoy a variety of worship styles, including a wider range of musical worship and a deeper corporate prayer life -whilst recognising and valuing our heritage;   For further information and to apply, please click the 'apply for this job' button below.   For an informal conversation with the Archdeacon of Croydon, please contact the Archdeacon’s PA Kathleen.bailey@southwark.anglican.org to arrange a time for a phone conversation.   Closing Date: Sunday 12 June 2022 Parish Visit for shortlisted candidates: Monday 11 July 2022 Interviews: Monday 11 July 2022   Please note we have a policy in Southwark Diocese that to be appointed to an incumbent status post, a priest must have served a title in an Anglican church in the British Isles.   This post is subject to DBS enhanced disclosure

Organists and Layworkers

Forthcoming Events

2 July 2022
Bringing Down the Mighty: Church, Theology and Structural Injustice
With Anthony Reddie, Azariah France-Williams, Mariama Ifode-Blease, Luke Larner, Will Moore, Stewart Rapley and Victoria Turner.

4-8 July 2022
HeartEdge Mission Summer School
From HeartEdge and St Augustine’s College of Theology.

More events

Welcome to the Church Times

​To explore the Church Times website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read four* articles for free each month. (You will need to register.)

*Until the end of June: we’re doubling the number of free articles to eight, to celebrate the publication of our Platinum Jubilee double issue.