Meetings

Save Sheffield Libraries
Tuesday, 19th February, 6.30pm, United Reform Church (Norfolk St/Chapel Walk)
Do you care about your library? They should not be shut. They cannot be run by volunteers. They are not businesses. Libraries are a public service and they need your support. Please join us for a public meeting.
http://lwfabf.tumblr.com/

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Growing Change: a Journey Inside Venezuela’s Food Revolution
Wednesday 20th February, refreshments from 6:30, film starts at 7pm. Quaker Meeting House
Growing Change takes us through a new food system as it’s being constructed almost from scratch.  We meet farmers who are gaining access to land for the first time. It’s all part of a country-wide process towards ‘food sovereignty’, driven both by communities and by the government, giving people control over food. The film is an hour long, and will be followed by informal discussion. Hosted by WDM Sheffield, all welcome.

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People’s Forum on Debt

Saturday 2nd March. 9.30am – 3.00pm at Quaker Meeting House – St. James Street (just along from the Cathedral)

People suffer and struggle and don’t realise that it is not because of their own fecklessness and inadequacy but because of the way that our society is organised and financed. Only if we work together can we change things. Free – just turn up. Speakers on Wealth and Poverty in Sheffield (Sheffield Equality Group), Banking System and debt (Positive Money) and Personal debt (Fir Vale Food bank). Bring a picnic lunch. Speakers followed by small group discussion and a Peoples Forum.

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Sheffield Equality Group
Wednesday 6th March, 7pm at Sheffield Quaker Meeting House
Discussion on the Fairness Commission with Matthew Borland, a lead Council Officer supporting the Commission. There will be a discussion on the recommendations of the Fairness Commission and how those recommendations could get turned into a reality. The group is an autonomous group affiliated to the national Equality Trust and meets on the first Wednesday of every month. All welcome.
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Unsupported – A public meeting about the cuts to social care and support
Thursday 11th April, informal chat from 6:30pm, presentations and discussion from 7pm. Sheffield Quaker Meeting House

Public meeting with short presentations about the reality of the cuts and changes to benefits. This will be followed by discussion in groups, planning for how to support those affected and how best to spread the word about the impacts of the cuts on the most vulnerable in society. Hosted by Sheffield Equality Group, all welcome.

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Daily MashPOVERTY may be caused by having little or no money, according to new research.

The findings contradict welfare secretary Iain Duncan Smith’s official definition, that poverty is caused by watching commercial television on a faux leather sofa while devouring beige, processed food. Julian Cook, professor of comparisons at Roehampton University, said: “It seems that people who have very little money are poor while people who have a reasonable amount of money are not poor.

“We worked it out using a computer the size of a bus.”

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Universalism – Services and Benefits

Examples of universalism are the NHS, public education, and the citizens’ income
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guaranteed_minimum_income

The welfare state started with the idea of Universalism to tackle Beveridge’s five social evils, the aim was a national insurance to support everyone. See a short BBC history http://bbc.in/vcPrTx

If we get rid of Universalism, will that lead to an increasing trend for people not to pay taxes? An article in the British Medical Journal discusses…
http://www.labournet.net/ukunion/1112/bmj1.pdf

“In a climate of distrust, high power of authorities is needed to enforce tax compliance and increasing fines and audit probabilities may be an effective tax policy. In a climate where taxpayers trust the authorities of their state, however, other variables gain in importance. Knowledge, attitudes, moral appeals, fairness and democracy may lead to voluntary compliance.” Perceptions of whether taxes are a good thing vary greatly across countries… http://aysps.gsu.edu/isp/files/ispwp0730.pdf

…and within countries, people who pay more taxes are happier, possibly because they are the type to be more trusting, german research suggests: http://on.wsj.com/V72rPy

Means tested benefits are often blamed for some of the £16 billion a year of benefits that goes unclaimed, and an argument for universal benefits is that they are not means tested. It is also used as an argument for Universal Credit… http://www.dwp.gov.uk/docs/universal-credit-wr2011-ia.pdf