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In recent years, our understanding of what is meant by the terms poverty and social justice has been manipulated. In some quarters, poverty has been redefined to encompass all manner of social ills, and social justice appears to be more about managing and correcting the lifestyles of people who are poor, rather than confronting the reasons why they are poor.
Sometimes it seems as though nothing much changes. In 1987, London Yearly Meeting of the Religious Society of Friends issued a public statement in the month before the General Election of that year. It expressed anger at the polarisation of the country; condemned inequality and expressed Quakers' belief that urgent action was needed to “promote debate and to stimulate action”.
Income inequality has been growing for decades in the UK, extensive evidence reveals. In recent years, so-called ‘austerity’ has served as a smokescreen for even more wealth to be transferred to a handful of millionaires.