Z2K is proposing a Royal Commission on Housing, which touches the heart of the UK economy and the well being of our citizens. It provides an opportunity to address the intrinsic inequality in the distribution of wealth and incomes governing the ownership of land and the provision of housing, which produces poor, sometimes even disastrous, social and economic outcomes. We are advised by Peter Ambrose, Visiting Professor of Health and Housing at the University of Brighton.
It is apparent that the UK has a financial crisis of its own making. The deficit, currently expected to be £165 billion in 2011, and the housing benefit cost of £21 billion are the consequences of governmental action and inaction since 1979. It is necessary to understand how we got to where we are. Continue reading
There is an issue glossed over by Wilkinson and Pickett which is denied by their rightwing enemies, and another about which the enemies have a strong pragmatic point. The first is the need to increase statutory minimum incomes in the UK that are at a level which costs all taxpayers billions in poverty-related ill health, educational underachievement and crime. Lessening inequality in Britain is more about increasing the lowest incomes than decreasing the highest; the lowest incomes are now being decreased by the coalition.
The second is the impossibility of one nation curbing the highest incomes in an international labour market. Nevertheless politicians of left and right should consider the ethics of inequality. Michael Northcott, professor of ethics at Edinburgh university, offering a Christian ethical perspective, writes that all people have a right of agency as the children of God made in the divine image. Inequality’s damage is when people have no power to order their lives. Distribution in excess to the rich is a desecration of the divine image, a spiritual disease, hence the deep and manifold problems that flow from it.
Rev Paul Nicolson
Chairman, Zacchaeus 2000 Trust
16 August 2010
We are part of the Better Banking Coalition which calls for fair and affordable banking for all.
The Big Society, at the heart of the new Government’s agenda, will only be possible if we can ensure a fully flourishing community sector. But community groups, individuals, and SMEs currently struggle to access the core funds they need.
The Better Banking campaign is run by a coalition of 8 third sector organisations, with support from over 300 supporting charities and 40 MPs. It was set up to encourage (and mandate) financial institutions to support those parts of the community who are not currently well served by existing banking products and services: usually lower income groups, third sector organisations, and small businesses. Continue reading