Wednesday, 30 May 2007 11:08 AM

Growing inequality in the Pacific a worry: Hughes

In his address to PINA delegates, former governor of the Central Bank of Solomon Islands stated that inequality in the Pacific has grown to an extent that it must be reversed.

He said if it is not reversed, inequality and widening awareness of what is causing it will have disastrous consequences for Pacific nations. Persistent unfairness breeds bitterness, and unattended bitterness breeds an urge to destroy. Unscrupulous political operators know this and can exploit it for their own purposes, as several countries represented here can testify, said Mr. Hughes.

He said a contributing factor to this inequality is the way liberal capitalist economy tends to facilitate the concept of accumulation of wealth and economic power in the hands of progressively fewer persons and corporations, both nationally and around the world. The other he claimed is the sordid reality of widespread corruption present in many of the Pacific Islands.

"The misuse of public office for private gain- in its main forms is corruption. Together these two elements play a major part in the size and unsustainability of the widening gap between the Pacific's rich and poor." said Hughes

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