1) Oxfam reveals 1% own half world’s wealth and increasing
New research released on Monday, by anti-poverty charity Oxfam, reveals that the top 1% own around half the world’s wealth, and if current trends continue, they will own more than the other 99% by next year.
In 2009, the 1% owned 44% of the world’s wealth. By 2014, this had increased to 48%. Meanwhile, the bottom 80% own just 5.5%.
Oxfam released this released their report ahead of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland and said they would use their profile at the Forum to put pressure on countries and groups to tackle this increasing inequality.
2) 40% of British families ‘too poor to play a part in society’
Those aiming to keep subjects like the wealth gap, and the increasing power and wealth of the 1%, out of the limelight, often claim that this has no bearing on the poor, and that focus should be on the poor instead of ‘attacking the rich’. They will aim to break the relation between increasing wealth for the rich and increasing poverty for the poor, but that money is being taken out of societies, from public money, public services, and welfare. The same year 1million people needed a food bank in the UK, the rich list increased their wealth by 15%.
Now the Joseph Rowntree Foundation have released a report detailing that 4 in 10, or 8.1 million people, live below an income required to play a part in society. This increased by a third from 2008/09 to 2012/13.
The findings show ‘economic growth’ is not happening for those that need it most.
“The definition of minimum income threshold assumes a single person of working age needs an income of £16,284. It suggests in the case of a couple with two children, each needs to reach an income threshold of £20,400. It does not pretend to be a poverty measure, or act as a substitute for the government’s half-abandoned child poverty measure of the numbers earning 60% below median earnings. It is instead a definition of the income required to have not just food, shelter and clothes, but also to be able to be a participant in society.
“The definition, reached in discussion with the public through focus groups, looks at what a household needs to be integrated in society and has been used in the past as a benchmark for the living wage.
“It includes, for instance, the ability to pay for a week’s holiday in the UK, or a second-hand car for families with children. It assumes no cigarettes or visits to the pub.”
3) Government challenged on benefit figures, as new poll shows British claimants in EU outnumber immigrants here
A new survey, conducted by the Guardian newspaper, shows that the number of Britons claiming benefits across the EU, outnumber immigrants from respective countries claiming here, going against government figures.
For example the report says that 23,011 Britons were on welfare in Finland, Sweden, Denmark, Belgium, Luxembourg, Germany, Austria, France and Ireland, compared to just 8720 of those nationals claiming here.
The survey was conducted on 23 of the 27 EU countries.
“Thirty thousand people, or 2.5% of all British nationals, in other EU member states means that the overwhelming majority of Brits abroad as well as European citizens in Britain are not an undue burden for the countries in which they live,” said Dr Roxana Barbulescu, researcher on international migration at the University of Sheffield, to the Guardian.”
4) Farage admits he wants to privatise NHS
in 2012, UKIP leader Nigel Farage let slip that he would ‘feel more comfortable’ with a privatised NHS. Spin doctors did their best to say that he had changed his mind, despite Deputy Leader Paul Nuttall also expressing his desire to let privatisation in.
Now Farage says this is a debate he will have to return to, revealing that he is courting the idea of implementing a US style insurance scheme. Bear in mind, the US spends the most on healthcare and has the worst system in the developed world.
It was only a couple of weeks ago that Hinchingbrooke hospital became the first to be declared ‘inadequate’ by the Care Quality Commission, and was accused of putting patient safety at risk, with tactics including skeleton staffing. The hospital was owned by Circle Health, a private healthcare company which won healthcare contracts following donations to the Tory party.
5) There are 10 homes for every homeless family in England
The Mirror revealed that there are 10 homes for every homeless family in England, and yet numbers of homeless people keep rising.
While efforts by Labour to reduce homelessness over five years of government saw figures drop from 100,000 to 48,000, the number of homeless people has been increasing again since 2011.
While some of these empty homes are waiting for renters or sales, many are being held empty by investors.
The Labour government brought in a ‘use it or lose it’ policy that allows councils to seize properties left empty for 6 months. The Tories extended this to two years upon their election and even resisted attempts to multiply council tax on these homes.
6) Steve Emerson laughed off BBC News
American ‘Terrorism expert’ (lol) Steve Emerson, who hit the headlines the other week for saying that Birmingham in the UK is a ‘no-go zone for non-Muslims’ was interviewed on the BBC about his comments and where he got his ‘findings’. It’s quite funny.
7) Occupy Democracy return to Parliament Square
by Kam Sandhu – @KamBass