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We should be allowed to pay extra tax, says Archbishop of York

Sat 08 Jul 2017
By Tola Mbakwe

Archbishop of York said the government should invite everyone to pay additional tax if they want to.

On the first day of the Church of England's General Synod in York, John Sentamu asked members of the synod whether they would personally be willing to pay extra tax to fund health care, education and social care.

The majority responded by a show of hands that they would. However, the members of the synod voted not to include his proposal as part of the church's official response to the current political climate.

Sentamu’s proposal was part of a motion called “After the General Election, a still small voice of calm” which addressed uncertain times following the election results and tragedies such as the Grenfell Tower fire.

Asking what might enable community to flourish, Archbishop Sentamu said: “We must learn from our present political and economic challenges to think less about the price of things and more about the value of things.

“There will be many lessons to learn from the fire in Grenfell Tower – but we are already aware that false economies can lead to human tragedy.

“Social care, specifically the so called 'dementia tax', should be an area where we are better off working together, and taking the risk jointly.

“This issue of public sector pay has demonstrated that there is little sign of a coherent plan about how to fund the health service, education, social care, defence, housing, or transport infrastructure."

Sentamu proposed unity in a time where “solutions pit one section of society against another to provide the funds – either by cutting public spending for some, or increasing taxes for others”.

 

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, added that the nation seemed to be dealing with an identity crisis, saying it “has become more blurred and reached some kind of crisis and culmination”.

He said: “We are a society where there are rival attempts to seize and proclaim mutually exclusive identities.”

The motion was carried overwhelmingly on a show of hands.


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