Symposium on tax justice in Scotland

By suzannei on August 22, 2016


Quakers for Equality banner

Quakers for Equality banner


Saturday, 29th October, 2016, 10.00 am to 11.50 am

Edinburgh Independent and Radical Book Fair, Out of the Blue Drill Hall, 36 Dalmeny Street, Edinburgh, EH6 8RG


Elizabeth Allen, a member of General Meeting for Scotland’s Parliamentary Liaison Function Group, explains more about the Symposium and her hopes about how it could help to bring about change in Scottish society.


Scottish Quakers are committed to seeking a just society in which resources are shared more equitably. We are not alone; many others share this vision. The time seems right to join with others and call for change.


The Scottish Parliament has recently had devolved to it considerable autonomy with regard to taxation and economic affairs and is looking, especially in the circumstances following ‘Brexit’, for still great powers, either through the development of greater federal devolution or, if that does not emerge, through independence. While there are radical elements within the Holyrood parliament and Scottish society at large calling for the creation of a more socially and economically just society, these are working against an instinctive conservatism and against those stakeholders with money, land and power who do not wish to see change.


We believe this is an ideal time to lobby for the radical change Quakers in Scotland wish to see, strengthening the voice in particular of those MSPs who wish to see such change and calling the Scottish churches to declare for change. If such change is not initiated in Scotland at this critical time, when doors are wide open, there is the risk of traditional power bases uniting with inertia and caution to prevent change.


The General Meeting for Scotland Parliamentary Liaison Function Group has arranged a symposium to take place on 29 October 2016, as part of the Radical Book Fair in Edinburgh. The event will bring together a range of concerned parties including Scottish Quakers, other churches and faith communities, and local organisations working on economic justice.


There are three speakers:

  • Richard Murphy, well know academic political economist, who has proposed a radical reform of our taxation system in books such as ‘The Joy of Tax’ and has been a significant influence on current Labour Party thinking.
  • Lesley Riddoch, journalist, author of ‘Blossom – what Scotland needs to flourish’. Influential in making links between Scottish politicians and Nordic countries, with a view to learning lessons from their economic and political systems.
  • Andy Wightman MSP, advocate of land ownership reform in Scotland, author of ‘Scotland – Land and Power: The Agenda for Land Reform’ etc.


The symposium to be chaired by Sally Foster-Fulton (head of Christian Aid in Scotland and former chair of the Church of Scotland Church and Society Council.


We hope the symposium will unite voices in Scottish church and secular society to lobby for radical change in Scottish taxation and land ownership policies, to create greater equality of opportunity. By bringing concerned parties together at this event, we will provide an opportunity to clarify how best we can work for these changes.


The symposium takes place between 10.00 am and 11.50 am on Saturday 29 October 2016 at the Out of the Blue Drill Hall, 36 Dalmeny Street, Edinburgh, EH6 8RG. No need to reserve a place in advance – just come along on the day!








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One Comment

  1. Mark Frankel
    Posted November 29, 2016 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    Fiscal devolution or independence will, other things being equal, militate against greater equality because there will be a reduced tax-base available for re-distribution. I expect the conference sought to promote the Land Value Tax, but is that likely to be adopted by any of the mainstream parties? What are the quick wins?

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