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Tomorrow, an IEA afternoon conference on Christianity, politics, the poor and the planet

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Tomorrow, I am speaking at an IEA conference on Christianity, politics, the poor and the planet, addressing Christianity and inequality: Christianity and inequality Churches have always been concerned about the problem of poverty even if there are differences in views about how it should be tackled. However, in recent years, despite inequality in the world falling, there have been an increasing number of critics of the “rich” and of the level of inequality. This panel will discuss the approaches Christians should take […]

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Wycombe Homeless Big Sleepout 2014

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As the Centre for Social Justice demonstrated in 2006, too many people are trapped in cycles of addiction, debt, family breakdown, worklessness and educational failure. Too often, one or more of these factors will lead people onto the streets, homeless. Please join me in supporting the great work of Wycombe Homeless Connection as they go about helping individuals rebuild their lives. I’ll be sleeping on the street on 15 November: please sponsor me here: bit.ly/BakerSleepout2014.

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PovertyCure — From Aid to Enterprise

A fascinating video from PovertyCure on aid and enterprise: I particularly identified with: Having a heart for the poor isn’t hard. We have a mind for the poor. We will never reconcile all opinion about how to help the poor but there is far more unity than is generally believed over the goal: creating stronger societies through prosperity. As the video concludes, “Good intentions don’t end poverty. Enterprise and freedom end poverty.”

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UK-Pakistan relations: an update

Recently, I met representatives from the Department of International Development (DfID) to discuss the UK’s assistance to help foster Pakistan’s social and economic progress. I was informed that the UK is committed to helping Pakistan harness the skills, talent and productivity of all its population in order to end aid dependency through jobs and growth. Secretary of State Justine Greening made her second visit to Pakistan at the beginning of July. She reinforced the UK’s strong partnership with Pakistan, encouraged […]

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Book review: On God’s Side, Jim Wallis

I enjoyed meeting Jim Wallis in Parliament through The Bible Society. He’s undoubtedly a great orator with a huge heart for service to other people in fulfilment of the Christian faith we share. I mostly delighted in his book, On God’s Side: What Religion Forgets and Politics Hasn’t Learned About Serving the Common Good. The book’s key inspiration is a saying of Abraham Lincoln, My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be […]

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How conscientious consumers can combat global poverty with a cup of coffee

Via LearnLiberty: See also Fair Trade Without the Froth: When it comes to the purchase of everyday goods such as coffee, tea and sugar, most consumers believe that sellers of Fair Trade products occupy the high moral ground. Despite its strong statements, however, the claims of the Fair Trade movement have not been tested properly. This important study, whilst not doubting the position that Fair Trade is part and parcel of a market economy, does question the claims made by […]

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Unemployment down nationally, regionally, and locally

Unemployment in the UK is down by 57,000. It is lower than in May 2010. Unemployment in Buckinghamshire is down – falling by 404 in June to stand at 5,437. It’s now at its lowest level since December 2008. Unemployment in Wycombe is down by 194 from June 2012 and stands at 2,268, which almost a 10% annual decrease. The number of people claiming out of work benefits is lower than at the general election and there are over half a […]

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The UK’s commitment on clean water for the world’s poorest

The UK Government announced at the landmark Sanitation and Water for All meeting in Washington DC that they are doubling the UK’s commitment on clean water and sanitation, made last year. The meeting indicated that 167 children die every hour from diarrhoea, the vast majority of which is due to a lack of access to safe water and sanitation: that is a scandalous tragedy in the 21st century. Over the lifetime of this Parliament, British taxpayers will support more than […]

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On capital, international development and raising the poor out of poverty

Via The Economic Role of Saving and Capital Goods – Mises Institute (emphasis mine): What distinguishes contemporary life in the countries of Western civilization from conditions as they prevailed in earlier ages – and still exist for the greater number of those living today – is not the changes in the supply of labor and the skill of the workers and not the familiarity with the exploits of pure science and their utilization by the applied sciences, by technology. It is […]

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21st Century Welfare – DWP

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Via 21st Century Welfare, the Coalition seeks views on proposals for welfare reform. Since I gave time to work for the Centre for Social Justice, these reforms are close to my heart: we must take people out of the present intergenerational cycles of broad spectrum poverty. Iain Duncan Smith’s statement in the main paper is encouraging, particularly the central section: Too often governments have tried to tackle poverty but ended up managing its symptoms. The changes outlined here are based on […]

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