Friday, 16 May 2014

Render unto Ceasar that which is Ceasar's

So said Jesus in Matthew Ch 22 v 21, when asked if people should pay their taxes to the Roman Emperor.

As everyone surely knows, Gary Barlow has been in the news for being part of a tax-avoidance scheme - in his case, avoiding paying many hundreds of thousands of pounds in tax.

Barlow has undoubtedly done a lot of good work, raised huge sums for charity, and was at the forefront of the Queen's Jubilee celebrations in 2012.  It's a shame that he has bought this bad publicity on himself, by basically giving in to temptation.

Whilst I don't expect people to voluntarily pay more tax than their due, I do believe we all have a responsibility to pay our fair share.  Public figures especially should be aware that they will be under closer scrutiny than most, and conduct their affairs in a proper way.

I do not suggest for one second that Barlow has done anything illegal, however, deliberate avoidance of paying the proper amount of tax falls on the wrong side of a moral line.

I haven't been able to find a source for this quote, but it goes something like "things that are illegal are not the problem.  Things that are legal are the problem".  Pertinent in this situation.

When saying the Lord's Prayer, we ask "lead us not into temptation".  We can all be tempted into doing all sorts of things, but let us ask for the strength to resist.

No comments:

Post a Comment