28 October 2014

Aid in AfricaTackling economic inequality so the poorest voices in the world are not left unheard will be the focus of a booked out public lecture at the Bob Hawke Prime Ministerial Centre at UniSA tomorrow night.

Guest speaker, Oxfam Australia Chief Executive Dr Helen Szoke, will use the event to call on Prime Minister Tony Abbott to put inequality on the agenda for the upcoming G20 summit in Brisbane.

“There’s a reason that political leaders, such as US President Barack Obama, are listing inequality as the defining issue of our time,” Dr Szoke says.

“Obama is echoing concerns from people here in Australia and right around the world who see that the gap between rich and poor is growing and making the world a worse place to live.

“By concentrating wealth and power in the hands of the few, inequality robs the poorest people of the support they need to improve their lives, and means that their voices go unheard.

“If the global community fails to curb widening inequality, we can expect more economic and social problems, undermining efforts to eradicate poverty.”

Dr Szoke says Oxfam has calculated that half of the world’s population – 3.5 billion – own the same wealth as the 85 richest people on the planet.

“Seven out of 10 people on the planet live in countries where economic inequality is worse than it was 30 years ago,” she says.

“Australia is no exception. The richest one per cent of Australians own as much as the bottom 60 per cent.

“Since inequality is bad for economic growth, the Prime Minister should put inequality on the agenda for the upcoming G20 leaders meeting in Brisbane.”

Dr Szoke is speaking at ‘The Politics of Poverty’ event, which will be held tomorrow, Wednesday October 29 at 6pm in the Allan Scott Auditorium, Hawke Building, UniSA City West campus. For more information visit the Hawke Centre website

Media contact: Kelly Stone office 8302 0963 mobile 0417 861 832 email Kelly.stone@unisa.edu.au

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