General Article We need full employment to curb Benefits Street wealth gap

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In a new report, Working For The Few, Oxfam warns that the fight against poverty cannot be won until wealth inequality has been tackled. The wealth of the richest 1% in the world amounts to $110 trillion – or 65 times as much as the poorest half of the world, says Oxfam, which fears this concentration of economic resources is threatening political stability and driving up social tensions.

The world’s richest 85 people, who could all fit on a double decker bus, own as much as the world’s poorest 3.5 billion. You couldn’t get a clearer picture of wealth inequality – except, perhaps, if that bus were to draw up outside James Turner Street, the deprived subject of Channel 4’s fly-on-the-wall documentary Benefits Street which is attracting huge attention, prompting protests and eliciting outrage from members of the public, MPs and charities.

The really divisive thing about the levels of wealth inequality portrayed by Benefits Street and our double-decker of plutocrats and oligarchs is ...

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