The stashing of cash by the super rich has hit the headlines again – and the suggestion is that economic inequality is far worse than generally estimated as vast amounts of cash held by the super rich are held offshore. Discussion of that, a new publicity campaign for the group, and where next with fairness in Sheffield next Wednesday (1st August) 7pm at the lovely Quaker Meeting House. Details and links below…

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News

“our lives are dominated by choices. What researchers are finding in psychology right now is that one’s social class position dramatically influences how a person interprets their choices.” – why choice is important for those on high incomes, whereas fitting in is more important for those on low incomes

“While the Greek government is under pressure to sell state-owned assets like islands, the market is sluggish, largely because of bureaucracy.” – The super rich choose buying up islands…

Are you in the squeezed middle, the pressured bottom, the island buying top? The IFS shows you where you sit

“I want to raise awareness that this ridiculously high pay is not remotely aligned to the pay of the people on the lower rungs of the company. To me, money is where the power is. I want to try and change company culture.” – Shareholder rebels put companies under pressure

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The Super Rich…
“Henry’s research, which we believe is the most rigorous and comprehensive study of its kind, reveals that well in excess of US$21 trillion is held unrecorded and offshore … Therefore, both wealth and inequality are being dramatically underestimated to a very significant degree, in every study and in every country. With the bottom half of the world’s population together possessing barely 1% percent of global wealth while the top 10% owns 84%, economic inequality is widely and increasingly recognised as a problem in its own right.” – A new report by the excellent Tax Justice Network discusses where the income of the super-rich goes, why Africa isn’t really in debt at all, and how the wealthy hide behind tax avoiding offshore companies

…and the starving
” A man arrives in the rain, very distressed to see the No Food sign. This afternoon he has walked three miles from his home to collect a food parcel, arriving just after the session began, but because he had no ID on him, he then had to walk a mile into the centre of town to get a letter from a charity certifying that he is who he claims to be, and then walk a mile back to be issued with some food. His benefits have been stopped for reasons that are not clear to him, and he faces the prospect of a three-mile walk home again, with no food and no money, until volunteers agree to let him join the crowd of 30 people still waiting in the church’s cafe, and promise to find him something to take away. ”
http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2012/jul/18/food-banks-on-hand-outs

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The missing billions – a UK Uncut documentary

A short documentary about the impact of the cuts in the UK, and the alternative. The film centers on the court case being brought by UK Uncut Legal Action against HMRC over a tax deal done between the revenue and Goldman Sachs in 2010 that saw £20m wiped off the a banking giants tax bill.

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Meetings

Sheffield Equality Group
1st August, 7pm-9pm Quaker Meeting House, 10 St James St. S1 2EW
Chat about the gap between high and low income and planning actions to address it, all welcome. The group is an autonomous group affiliated to the national Equality Trust and meets on the first Wednesday of every month.

Positive Money (Sheffield) monthly meetup
Monday 30th July, 7.45-9pm Quaker Meeting House, 10 St James St. S1 2EW
For everyone interested to learn about the flaws in our debt-based monetary system, and the solutions. Open agenda – if you have a burning issue to raise or question to ask, come along and get it on the agenda. If not, come along anyway and join the discussion – newcomers welcome! Regular meetings on the last Monday in the month, except public holidays. Donation of £3 requested to cover the cost of the room, and £1 for tea/coffee/biscuits.

World Development Movement (WDM) pub meeting
Mon 13 Aug 2012, 8-10pm, Red Deer pub, 18 Pitt St. S1 4DD
The World Development Movement (WDM) is a UK-based anti-poverty campaigning organisation. Their welcoming pub meetings are held on the 2nd Monday of every month to discuss ideas, action and projects. A chance to debate and understand issues and generate creative ideas about how to change things

More? Check out http://alt-sheff.org