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Showing posts from October 10, 2012

Unjust debt goes to the heart of inequality. We need a new jubilee

Ten years ago I was part of a movement called Jubilee 2000, which changed the way people think about debt. It challenged a deeply held principle that "debts must always be repaid" by showing how, in the case of many debts owed by impoverished countries, the consequences of repayments were creating nearly unimaginable suffering.We were not calling for an act of charity, but a realisation that the economy we had created was structured in a way that was deeply unfair, exaggerating inequality and poverty in many parts of the world. We didn't want donations, but a change in the rules of engagement.The change in values that the jubilee movement effected forced decision-makers to enact policies that went some way to redressing this injustice. About $125bn of debt was wiped out, and governments were able to start spending money in ways that benefited their people.Yet only 10 years later we find ourselves at the centre of a debt crisis that suggests we were not as successful as w…