Quakers say prepare for peace, not war
Quakers in Britain support the Taxes for Peace Bill given its first reading in the House of Commons today (19 July). Second reading is scheduled for 2 December.
Ruth Cadbury, MP for Brentford and Isleworth and a Quaker, introduced the Income Tax (Non-Military Expenditure) Bill under a Ten Minute Rule motion.
One hundred years ago, Ruth Cadbury's grandparents were conscientious objectors in World War 1, serving to help the wounded on the battlefields in France. She said the Bill would make the hard won right of conscientious objection relevant to today's society.
The Bill would allow people to stop paying for war and weapons. It is not an exemption from paying taxes. Rather it redirects the appropriate percentage of income taxes away from military spending and towards conflict prevention programmes sponsored by the government.
Taxpayers would be able to express on their tax return their conscientious objection to the expenditure of their taxes on war or the preparations for war.
To prepare for war is failure; instead we want to invest in nonviolent solutions to conflict- Helen Drewery, Quakers in Britain
Conscience, who campaign to create a world where taxes are used to nurture peace, not pay for war, say that military taxation is the new form of conscription.
Helen Drewery of Quakers in Britain said, “Believing all life is sacred, Quakers abhor war and conscientiously object to paying someone to kill on our behalf. To prepare for war is failure; instead we want to invest in nonviolent solutions to conflict."