Micah Challenge Australia Blog

 

The Micah Challenge blog is a space for discussion and debate about the issues of global poverty, faith, advocacy and justice and the Millennium Development Goals. This blog aims to provoke thought and challenge you to learn more about the issues discussed. We welcome your comments.

Micah Challenge is a global campaign of Christians speaking out against poverty and injustice. Click here to visit the Micah Challenge website.

  • $22 Billion for World's Justice?

    Posted by Scott

    10 September, 2012

    How would you like to raise $22 billion for anti-poverty programs around the world? That's not $22 million but $22 billion. Sounds impossible right? Well maybe not. Back in September 2000 world leaders, including Australia's Prime Minister, gathered in Geneva and declared that the new millennium would be one in which we would forge a new world. “We will spare no effort to free our fellow men, women and children from the abject and dehumanising conditions of extreme poverty, to which more than a billion of them are currently subjected. We are committed to making the right to development a reality for everyone and to freeing the entire human race from want.” Inspiring words, but such words have been spoken many times before. Would these be yet another empty promise? Perhaps not, because this time the world's leaders put measurable targets against their pledge. They set 2015 as the date by which eight millennium development goals would be achieved and set targets against each goal - the proportion of people living on a dollar a day… read more

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  • Getting one over on the taxman

    Posted by John

    28 June, 2012

    Each year at tax time we sit down at the kitchen table with our pile of papers, take a deep breath, puff out our chest, and then dive head first into an imaginary battle with the proverbial tax man. Perhaps we personify the taxman sitting across the table trying to bleed us for every dollar we’ve got. When the tax cheque arrives in the mail and it’s bigger than we thought it was going to be, we smile and indulge in a fair measure of self-congratulation at having ‘beaten the tax man’. This tax-time battle is a common experience, but many people aren’t aware that a similar battle is now also being played out on a mass scale on the global stage. The practice of tax dodging by multinational corporations and wealthy individuals is now extremely widespread across the globe and, sadly, also reasonably widely accepted. Some multinational corporations are investing significant sums of money in elaborate schemes to ‘beat the taxman’. On both the individual and the global scale, the rationale goes, ‘if I can beat the system… read more

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  • Tax havens - a conspiracy against the poor

    Posted by Gershon

    12 June, 2012

    I’ve never been much of a conspiracy theorist. I am yet to be convinced that the US government organised 9/11, I doubt very seriously that alien autopsies were carried out at Area 51, and despite the ‘compelling’ evidence I don’t think that Barack Obama is an Islamic fundamentalist sleeper agent charged with bringing about the upcoming 2012 global apocalypse. With that said, there has been one ‘conspiracy’ that’s started to make me more than a little worried. What would you say if I told you that there is a massive global system that props up corrupt dictators and politicians, facilitates the activity of the world’s largest criminal industries and drains billions, possibly trillions of dollars from Governments all over the world? That this system was one of the major causes of the current global financial crisis and worse than that, it contributes to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people every year? If you’re like me, your first thought might be, ‘That’s just too surreal to be true,’… read more

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  • A Response to Mr Downer

    Posted by John

    31 May, 2012

    In an article entitled ‘Aid means quality, not quantity’ published on May 20 in the Adelaide Advertiser, Alexander Downer claims that the NGO community says ‘barely a word’ about aid effectiveness and is only interested in the size of the aid budget ‘even if much of it is wasted.’ As someone who is actively involved in the NGO sector, this is my response to Mr Downer’s article. Alongside thousands of everyday Australians and NGOs, Micah Challenge has repeatedly called for more effective aid. We have called for a greater focus on inclusive development for disabled persons, more effective spending on health, water, sanitation and governance programs, as well as greater transparency and accountability. Certainly the quantity of aid becomes a focus for both the NGO sector, and the general public around budget time. This is basically because the government often seems to be looking for ways to defer increases to the aid budget. That was the case when Mr Downer was Foreign Minister and, sadly, is still the case now. That said,… read more

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