Taxing the churches

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Editor;

Mr Standiford (PM 21/12) is correct and timely in his exposure of the tax free status of religions, but I fear he is ahead of his time as the majority of people still support religion. Trying to change the status quo is hardly a vote catcher.

There are many other areas where appropriate action would provide revenue as well as other benefits. Reducing the 700 or more overseas military bases operated by the USA and ending the billions of dollars handed out every year to a country that is fully developed would be a good start.

In the USA nearly four thousand children under the age of 18 start smoking every day. The ultimate result is enormous loss of working days, expensive medical treatment for smoking related diseases and the general spread of a hazardous and distasteful product. By increasing the tax on tobacco, restricting sales to registered addicts and increasing non-smoking areas governments could increase their revenue and improve their citizens’ health.

The promotion of meatless days would be another way to help reduce cruelty, lessen environmental damage and promote health. Tax on foods with added sugar would provide more income and have a positive effect on health. I would imagine that taxing coca cola alone would provide a huge income and would certainly benefit a nation’s health.

Michael Nightingale

United Kingdom