Francis, the Bishop of Rome, has come out with a new apostolic exhortation, The Joy of the Gospel, that recognises the need to resolve “the structural causes of poverty” without delay. Everyone should ponder over these words: Welfare projects, which meet certain urgent needs, should be considered merely temporary responses. As long as the problems of the poor are not radically resolved by rejecting the absolute autonomy of markets and financial speculation and by attacking the structural causes of inequality, no solution will be found for the world’s problems or, for that matter, to any problems. Inequality is the root of social ills.
The government says it wants to remove subsidies. But what about the subsidies enjoyed by the super-rich corporate elites and their corporations – soft loans, incentives, ever lower corporate tax rates, lop-sided concessions, pioneer status tax breaks, capital allowances, tax deductions, etc?
The Bishop of Rome, Francis, is visiting the Italian town of Assisi, the hometown of the great 13th century saints Francis and Claire, who longed to see a church of the poor.
Amidst disquiet about the high property prices in the state, the Penang government has announced that eight projects, which will provide 19425 new homes in the state, are in the pipeline.