Look out for the Living Wage and Fair Tax marks.
More equal societies do better at the things we all care about: health, education, quality of life. By thinking global and acting local, we can help make our economy work better for everyone. And there’s lots of ways that you can take action!
Paying tax doesn’t sound very exciting. But taxes pay for schools and hospitals and roads and lots of other things we all use and value. Tax is supposed to make the richest (who can afford the most) pay the most: that would be ‘Tax Justice’. But super-rich individuals and companies use loopholes to get out of paying some of the tax they owe, by hiding money in tax havens, like Luxemburg, the British Virgin Islands, or Delaware state in the US.
Using these loopholes is technically legal, but it isn’t fair: around £20bn a year is lost this way. The government could do more to close the loopholes, and make sure companies pay their fair share.Recent proposals by HMRC to fine the accountants who sell tax-avoidance schemes, and attempts by the EU to tax Apple show public pressure is having an effect – we need to keep it up!
Look out for the Fair Tax mark to support businesses that pay their tax.
A Living Wage is an hourly rate that (for full time work) pays people enough to get by. Companies that choose to pay their employees this minimum standard can apply for ‘Living Wage Employer’ status.
Look out for the Living Wage mark to support businesses that pay their employees fairly.
Standing in the Gaps
In spite of ‘economic growth’, ordinary people’s finances are extremely insecure. Low-pay, temporary contracts and unfixed hours leave many people struggling, and sudden bereavement, redundancy or illness can throw anyone into a financial crisis. Many organisations across Birmingham are trying to help people who ‘fall through the gaps’: in a compassionate society, we don’t want anyone to go cold or hungry.
But these organisations need support: they are often working hard with few resources and little recognition. Find out more about organisations from food-banks to debt advice services to support for homeless people, and how you can help them at Standing in the Gaps.
Brixton, Bristol and Totness already have their own local currencies – and Birmingham could be next! You’d be able to spend your ‘Birmingham Pounds’ in local shops and businesses, meaning that money flows around the local economy, and gets spent on goods and services that are actually useful to people.
At the moment, the Birmingham Pound is just an idea: sign up to show your support!
Building a Progressive Future
A group of people from across the West Midlands have developed 5 (draft) Principles for a Progressive Future – and would love to hear what you think!
The (draft) Principles are: Enabling Potential – Equal Society – Participatory Democracy – Common Ownership of Resources – Environmental Sustainability
Come along to an event on 22nd September at Impact Hub Digbeth, to find out more and let us know what you think. Or drop by Peace Hub to add your thoughts to our display board.
Pop into Peace Hub to find out more about getting equal, and join in with taking action for an economy that works for everyone!