The next meeting of the Equality Group is at 7pm, Wednesday April 4th at Sheffield Quaker Meeting House. On the agenda is income inequalities, the fairness commission, and future campaigns etc. All welcome.
Sheffield Fairness Commission
The first evidence, on health, has been submitted by groups across the city. Plenty to consider and many ideas on how the city can get better. Members of the Equality Group attended the meeting. The wider issues of income inequalities were frequently mentioned. For more on the commission, and our submission, see:
Not much change for income inequality with the 2012 budget, a lot of hopes pinned on Universal Credit, and don’t have kids…
“‘I think the concept of the squeezed middle is misplaced. It’s actually a vanishing middle, or a shrinking middle,’ says Stewart Lansley, economist and author of a book about income inequality. The absence of a middle puts the brakes on social mobility and aspiration, he argues, because there is no realistic passage out of the bottom income brackets. ‘That’s very bad for running economies, because you don’t have this continuum, you don’t have aspirations. It makes it difficult for cities to manage, and we’re becoming much more of a low-paid economy with this big top'” http://t.co/53P4BAs6
“The Seesaw staff [offer] numeracy and literacy skills, help with budgeting and job applications, and parents use the centre’s phones to apply for jobs or to try to talk to Jobcentre Plus. … A core goal for the centre is to get parents moving up the ladder of opportunity rung by rung. The lack of economic growth, the absence of private sector jobs and the dearth of extra hours for part-timers means that the rungs are rapidly disintegrating, leaving an increasingly unbridgeable gap. The working poor are also expected to be exemplary and stay within the strict rules of austerity.” – Life on the breadline, one family’s story…
National meeting of local Equality Groups
A national meeting of the Equality Trust for local group co-ordinators was held in London on March 24th. The main priority was communications, particularly the sharing of resources (campaigns, activities, etc) between groups. It was agreed a meeting of local Equality Groups and the Equality Trust should steer the campaigning of the Equality Trust, to get more co-ordination between local group actions and the national group. It was agreed the local groups should stay autonomous, i.e. able to direct their own campaigns etc. In general the development of the Equality Trust and local groups has been very quick for the three years, with much accomplished.