Fighting fit: Archbishop challenges leaders at first engagement since surgery

Dr John Sentamu during a press conference at St. Macartin's Cathedral in Enniskillen
Dr John Sentamu during a press conference at St. Macartin's Cathedral in Enniskillen
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LEADERS attending today’s G8 meeting have been urged to step up to close international tax loopholes to help end the “great scandal” of world hunger.

Archbishop of York Dr John Sentamu told a special Enough Food For Everyone IF service in Enniskillen, where the summit is being held, that the fact a child died every ten seconds from hunger was a “scar on all our consciences”.

Speaking at his first official engagement since undergoing surgery for prostate cancer, the Archbishop said the cries of the three million children who died every year from malnutrition would not be silenced.

He said that if big companies could be stopped from dodging taxes, “millions of people 
could free themselves from hunger”.

“Too many unscrupulous businesses and individuals manage to avoid paying the taxes they owe, particularly in developing countries.

“They’re dodging millions of pounds every day, indirectly robbing the poor of education, health, food, employment and sustainable development.”

The Archbishop said land should be cultivated for food, not fuel, and called for transparency from governments and corporations “so that citizens can hold to account the powerful players in the food chain”.

He said anyone who bought food could play a part towards ending hunger by giving an extra 10 per cent on top of their food bill to a universal giving card as part of “Global Monetary Food Insurance.”

It came as Northern Ireland’s Finance Minister, Sammy Wilson, accused the Irish government of “stealing” UK tax revenue.

The Democratic Unionist said he was concerned that companies were using the Republic of Ireland to pay tax which he alleged should be paid in the UK.