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Working for the many - public services fight inequality

3 April, 2014
Oxfam, UK
The UK-based NGO Oxfam has published a 26-page booklet "Working for the many," that calls on governments to urgently reform tax systems and increase public spending on free public services, such as health and education, to tackle inequality and prevent us being tipped irrevocably into a world that works for the few, not the many.

Free public health and education services are a strong weapon in the fight against economic inequality. They mitigate the impact of skewed income distribution, and redistribute by putting ‘virtual income’ into the pockets of the poorest women and men.

Oxfam's key recommendations are:

  • Prioritize increased public spending on and delivery of health and education services, to fight poverty and inequality at a national level.
  • Prioritize policies and practices that increase financing for free public health and education.
  • Finance health and education from general progressive taxation, rather than through private and optional insurance schemes, user fees and out-of-pocket payments.
  • Refrain from implementing unproven and unworkable market reforms to public health and education systems, and expand public sector rather than private sector delivery of essential services.

The publication is available in English, French and Spanish, and there is a summary paper available in Italian.

See the Oxfam website for more details.

Also see