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Dee and Deirdre featured on Channel 4’s Benefits Street. Joe Giddens/PA Wire

It’s easy to hate ‘poverty porn’ but harder to fight inequality

George Osborne’s recent announcement that households would receive personalised “annual tax statements” allowing them to track how their taxes are spent has been heavily criticised as manipulative and…
Uncritically invoking neuroscience is a risky proposition. Image of head via www.shutterstock.com

Why brain science won’t cure poverty

Recently I’ve seen news reports with headlines like this one: “Can Brain Science Help Lift People Out Of Poverty?” This particular article described the near miraculous recovery of a woman who grew up…
Is anything less acceptable? LIVING WAGE

The living wage may cut poverty, but not by very much

In the UK, according to the Living Wage Foundation, some 1,000 firms have pledged to offer a living wage, including household names like RBS, ITV and SSE. Earlier this week the annual rate increase was…
Poverty is about more than just the living wage. Shutterstock

The living wage on its own won’t win the war on poverty

The living wage won’t eradicate poverty in the UK. It may seem churlish to make the point as Living Wage Week draws to a close, but it’s a point well worth making. Don’t get me wrong, the living wage campaign…
Despite a fall in our rate of child poverty, there is reason to be concerned about recent changes and future trends in Australia. AAP/Joe Castro

Australia bucks child poverty trend but the future looks a lot bleaker

The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) has just released its latest report card on child well-being in 41 rich countries. In particular, the report looks at the effects of the economic crisis on children…
In office and in opposition, Gough Whitlam’s advocated for the Commonwealth Commission of Inquiry into Poverty. AAP/Dean Lewins

Whitlam’s forgotten legacy: a voice for the poor

Former prime minister Gough Whitlam, whose death at age 98 was announced on Tuesday, left significant legacies from his short time in office. Whatever their condition today, many of his government’s initiatives…
Who’s responsible? EPA/Ahmed Jallanzo

Decades of corrupt government have left states prey to Ebola

The word Ebola is conjuring up fear around the world; breakdowns in Western infection control procedures have led to cases in Spain and the US, and have given the non-African world a taste – or a foretaste…
Mattresses thrown over a playground at the Gran Familia children’s home, Zamora. EPA

Millions of Mexican minors work to survive or risk lives to escape

The recent rescue of 458 children and 138 adults from the Gran Familia refuge in the city of Zamora in the state of Michoacán is another grim illustration of the plight of many unprotected and vulnerable…
Reason to smile: far fewer children are growing up in poverty in tropical regions of the world than 30 years ago. Mark Ziembicki

Earth’s generation next will be wealthier, but not always healthier

Our Tropical Future: A new report on the State of the Tropics has revealed rapid changes in human and environmental health in the Earth’s tropical regions. This is the second in a four-part series about…
This Vietnamese school girl is growing up in a new era: by the time she is middle-aged, 60% of the world’s children will be living in a tropical region. UN Photo/Mark Garten

How the world is turning tropical before our eyes

Our Tropical Future: A new report on the State of the Tropics has revealed rapid changes in human and environmental health in the Earth’s tropical regions. This is the first in a four-part series about…
There is scant evidence that ‘aid for trade’ programs have any impact on lifting the poorest people globally out of poverty. EPA/Yahya Arhab

Does ‘aid for trade’ really help reduce poverty?

Even before assuming office, foreign minister Julie Bishop was clear on the Coalition’s approach to foreign aid: “aid for trade” was touted as the primary strategy of the Coalition’s aid program. Last…
If you would like to see a large number of desperately poor people enjoy the joy of a World Cup victory, you should cheer for Nigeria. EPA/Rungroj Yongrit

Stuck for a World Cup team? Shoot for the happiness dividend

Let’s be realistic. Australia is the lowest ranked of the 32 teams in the World Cup, and despite a very creditable performance in its first match against Chile, its chances of making it out of the group…
Even in an affluent country such as Australia, many people struggle to eat well. Alex Proimos/Flickr

Life below the poverty line: lessons from eating on $2 a day

Global poverty statistics are staggering – 1.2 billion people live in extreme poverty and about 870 million are undernourished – but even in an affluent country such as Australia, many people struggle…

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