Taxes for Peace Bill 2016

A full copy of the bill including a historical background of the Peace Tax movement can be found here.  

Taxes for Peace Bill

A Bill to give further effect to the international obligations of the United Kingdom in relation to freedom of thought, conscience and religion by enabling persons liable to income tax who object, out of personal conviction, to the expenditure of tax revenues on military activity to direct that the relevant portion of the income tax for which they are liable be spent instead on the prevention and peaceful resolution of conflicts; and for connected purposes.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s Most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Lords Spiritual and temporal, and Commons, in this present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:-

  1. Statement of conscientious objection

(1) A person liable to income tax who objects to expenditure of tax revenues on military activity on the ground that such expenditure is incompatible with his or her personal convictions (an “objector”) may make a statement under this section, to be known as a statement of conscientious objection, to Her Majesty’s Commissioners of Revenue and Customs (“the Commissioners”).

(2) Where the Commissioners receive a statement of conscientious objection in any financial year, they must arrange for the relevant proportion of the income tax for which the objector is liable in that and future financial years to be applied in accordance with section 2; and that proportion so applied is to be known as the “Peace Tax”.

(3) In this section, the “relevant proportion” means a fraction equal to D divided by T, where—

(a) T is the total managed expenditure of the United Kingdom government for each financial year, as set out in the Central Government Supply Estimates presented to the House of Commons in respect of that year, and

(b) D is the amount of that expenditure allocated to the Ministry of Defence.

  1. Allocation of Peace Tax to non-military security

(1) The Peace Tax raised from objectors shall be allocated to expenditure on non-military security.

(2) In subsection (1), “non-military security” means the promotion of security through international understanding, reconciliation and pacific settlement of disputes, and includes—

(a)             the removal of causes of conflict;

(b)             the conversion of industrial production from military to non-military purposes;

(c)             the resolution of international disputes through mediation and conciliation;

(d)             other peaceful and non-military methods of avoiding or resolving conflict and violence.

(3) Amounts allocated under subsection (1) are to be in addition to, not in substitution for, amounts which would, but for this Act, have been allocated for purposes falling within subsection (2)

  1. Final provisions

(1)       The Treasury may by regulations make provision for giving effect to this Act, including provision about—

(a) the form and content of, and the method of communicating, a statement of conscientious objection;

(b) the duration of a statement of conscientious objection (including provision about its withdrawal, expiry and renewal);

(c) the calculation of amounts;

(d) the apportionment of income tax raised from an objector in respect of the financial year during which the objector makes a statement of conscientious objection;

(e) the arrangements to be made under section 1(2).

(2)            Regulations under subsection (1) are to be made by statutory instrument; and no such regulations shall be made unless a draft of the instrument containing them has first been laid before, and approved by resolution of, the House of Commons.

(3)       Any expenses incurred by a Minister of the Crown under this Act shall be defrayed out of moneys provided by Parliament.

(4)       This Act comes into force—

(a) as regards subsections (1) to (3), on the day on which it is passed;

(b) otherwise, at the end of the period of six months beginning with that day.

(5)       This Act extends to the whole of the United Kingdom.

(6)       This Act may be cited as the Taxes for Peace Act 2016.

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