'Even It Up' campaign against global inequality steps up a gear

By Simon Barrow
January 24, 2015

Extreme inequality is threatening to undo much of the progress made over the past 20 years in tackling poverty, says the charity Oxfam.

But the situation is not inevitable – it's the consequence of political and economic choices. Things don't have to be this way. "Together, we can end extreme inequality," declares the global NGO in promoting its 'Even It Up' campaign.

"We can even things up if we all demand that governments across the world make the right economic and political decisions. We can change the rules on tax to make sure the richest pay their fair share. We can demand more spending on public health and education to give poor people a fighting chance. We can demand fair wages for everyone. We can make sure the poorest people have a voice, and that it is heard by those in power."

The 'Even It Up' campaign is a worldwide push to get inequality to the top of governments' agendas, and spread the word, following the charity's recent report on staggering global differentials in wealth.

It was initially launched in October 2014 (http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/20998), but has been stepped up for the January 2015 World Economic Forum in Davos.

The combined wealth of the richest one per cent will overtake that of the other 99 per cent of people on the planet next year, unless the current trend of rising inequality is checked, Oxfam is warning.

The next aim is tackling governments on the issue of sorting out the tax system so huge corporations pay their fair share, and poor countries don't lose billions in revenue, says the charity.

This is something a range of NGOs and pressure groups have been working on for some time, including the Tax Justice Network, which Ekklesia supports.

What of the future? "We're in this for the long-haul," says Oxfam. "We know we can't solve the inequality crisis overnight. Over the coming months and years, we'll be taking on governments and big business to make sure they deliver the real change needed to reverse the trend of rising inequality."

* Sign up for the 'Even It Up' campaign here: http://www.oxfam.org.uk/get-involved/campaign-with-us/find-an-action/eve...

* 'Inequality talk: who wins, who loses, and who acts?', by Simon Barrow: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/21346

* Richest 1% will own more than all the rest by 2016: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/21323

* General Election candidates receive global poverty manifesto: http://www.ekklesia.co.uk/node/21292

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© Simon Barrow is co-director of Ekklesia.

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