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Address flaws in 2006 Equalities Act.

Comment 7th July 2010

This act makes it an makes it an offence to discriminate against a religion on the grounds that it might be a religious philosophy only. This Act could be used by groups such as "The Church of Scientology" to obtain 100% rate relief on all their properties.

The Church of Scientology is campaigning for religious recognition in the UK. It is doing this so that it can then claim discrimination with respect to business rates.

Either repeal this legislation or rewrite it or scrap business rates exemptions for religious places of worship and only allow business rates exemptions for charities which would include most of the main stream religions. The church of scientology is not a charity in the UK and rightly so because charities do altruistic work and the church of scientolugy does not.  

The only groups who should be entitled to subsidies by the rate paying businesses and public of this country are those who provide a charitable benefit to society. This legislation allows those that do not benefit society to claim subsidies simply because they have a "religious philosophy".

Why does this matter?

This act unwittingly allows the possibility of many groups to claim rates exemptions for both business and residential properties, not least being the controversial church of scientology. It is a matter of extraordinary urgency that this not be allowed to get started because it will be much harder to stop. This will place an increased burden on business rates payers especially in those areas where sizable business assets are owned by "religions".


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