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Thursday, October 27, 2016
London debate: Will the Demon Debt destroy us all?
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¬†Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Paul Boateng and the Bishop of Oxford, Richard Harries will debate the theme 'Will the Demon Debt destroy us all?' next Tuesday at St-Mary-le-Bow Church in Cheapside. In an event organised by the JustShare coalition of churches and Christian agencies, including the Catholic Institute for International Relations, they will discuss whether the level of international debt is a threat to the stability of the global financial system and especially to the world's poor. At the end of 2000 the 52 poorest countries owed £200bn, according to the Jubilee Debt Campaign. Despite all the promises, only 10 per cent of that has been cancelled - no country has had all its debts cancelled. But this small amount of debt relief has meant that health spending has risen by 70 per cent and primary school fees have been abolished in four African countries. In addition, there has been no increase in military spending. Paul Boateng, chief architect of Labour's 1995 policy document on the legal profession, became Home Office minister in 1998 and was appointed Chief Secretary to the Treasury in 2002. Bishop Richard Harries has been Bishop of Oxford since 1987 and is a regular media contributor. The debate will be chaired by The Guardian's religious correspondent, Stephen Bates. Bishop Harries said: "The high levels of debt among individuals and organisations at local and international level are creating real anxiety in our society. Debt is a serious moral issue that needs urgent attention." This debate will follow another one on the theme of 'God and Mammon' when two speakers will discuss how best to confront global inequality. Lord Griffiths of Forest Ffach, Vice Chair of Goldman Sachs International and Head of the Policy Unit at 10 Downing Street under Margaret Thatcher, will go head to head with Rev Prof Timothy Gorringe, Professor of Theological Studies at Exeter University. The debate, organised by the London Churches Group for Social Action and JustShare, will be part of the European Social Forum and take place on Saturday 16 October from 11am to 1pm. Both events will take place at St-Mary-le-Bow Church, Cheapside, EC2, and are open to everyone. There will be an opportunity to discuss the issues with the speakers during the session and over light refreshments afterwards. JustShare is a coalition of churches and Christian-based agencies committed to raising awareness around the issues of poverty and inequality and pressing for practical change for the world's poor. For more information see: Source: CIIR
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