Churchgoers throughout the Lichfield Diocese will get a chance to hear how they can join the fight for tax justice when an ex-London bus pulls up.
Christian Aid and Church Action on Poverty have routed the red double-decker (pictured) through Wolverhampton, Lichfield, Stafford, Stoke and Shrewsbury as part of its West Midlands tour during 53 days on the roads around the UK and Ireland.
The aim is to highlight how global tax dodging is hurting the poor in the UK and beyond.
It's first stop in the Diocese is at Wolverhampton on 30th August when the Bishop of Wolverhampton, the Rt Revd Clive Gregory, will go aboard to hear details of how tax dodging is hitting the poor. The bus then travels on to Lichfield Cathedral in the evening.
There it will be met by the Archdeacon of Lichfield and Canon Treasurer of the Cathedral, the Ven Christopher Liley, as it stops outside Lichfield Cathedral.
Speakers from Kenya and the West Midlands, alongside Christian Aid supporters, are expected to join with civic and political leaders, as well as church members and residents to discuss the issues.
The bus then moves out of the West Midlands but is back on 24th of September when it will visit Stoke, Stafford and Shrewsbury.
'Tax dodging is an injustice that keeps some people poor while others get richer. It robs countries of the taxes they are owed, money that could be spent on essential services such as health, education and welfare,' said Niall Cooper of Church Action on Poverty.
'Both the Prime Minister and Chancellor have condemned aggressive tax avoidance as morally wrong.
'Both Christian Aid and Church Action on Poverty think the system must be changed and that David Cameron should use his global leadership to end financial secrecy, so tax dodgers have nowhere to hide,' he said.
The charities want people to Tick for tax Justice by signing a petition that calls on the Prime Minister to push for measures that would require:
Companies to report on the profits they make and taxes they pay in every country in which they operate.
Tax havens to automatically share information about the money flowing through them with other countries.
At a time when spending cuts are having a devastating impact on the UKs poorest people and communities, tax dodging is morally unacceptable,' said Niall. It amounts to robbing the poor. If the Government just collected the 35 billion of tax they know is going uncollected, they could invest properly in tackling UK poverty.'
Paul Brannen, Christian Aid, said: We estimate that tax dodging by some unscrupulous multinational companies costs developing countries at least $160 billion a year, thats one-and-a-half times the total global aid budget. Its money that could be used to make huge improvements to public services such as healthcare and education, better enabling people to sustain themselves. By making changes to the tax system, people across the world can live healthier, happier and less hungry lives.
To find out more about the Tax Justice Bus tour follow us on Twitter @taxbus2012 and to take the Tick for tax Justice campaign action visit www.christianaid.org.uk/tax-bus or www.church-poverty.org.uk/taxbus.
Details of the tour around the Diocese can be found at http://www.christianaid.org.uk/getinvolved/inyourarea/england/westmidlands/events/taxjusticetour.aspx.