Urgent action needed from IMF, World Bank and G20

The ITUC is calling for urgent and concerted action for economic recovery from the G20 finance ministers and from the IMF and World Bank, which are holding their Annual Meetings from 16 October.

“With hundreds of millions of jobs lost and more than a billion informal economy workers left destitute in the pandemic, the world cannot afford to delay action. Debt relief and injections of funding for job creation in health, care, infrastructure, education and climate action are required to kick start global economic activity and build the resilience needed for the future,” said Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary.

Key priorities include:

  • creating and funding multilateral debt relief, with the World Bank and private investors taking their share of responsibility.
  • the IMF and World Bank providing support to close the ‘stimulus gap’ identified by the International Labour Organization (ILO), helping countries design and finance public investment for jobs and meeting the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.
  • creating a global social protection fund with support from the World Bank and the ILO for the world’s poorest economies.
  • reforming the World Bank to help countries create quality jobs and reduce inequality, not promote the deregulation epitomised in the suspended Doing Business report.
  • an end to the international finance institutions squeezing public sector wage expenditure, so that health and education can be properly resourced to tackle the pandemic and build back with resilience.
  • issuing IMF Special Drawing Rights to provide vital liquidity.
  • implementing taxation measures to help restore public finances, in particular returning billions of dollars that the ultra-rich have siphoned out of the global economy during the pandemic.

“Pandemic profiteers have been looting hundreds of billions of dollars out of the system, on top of taxation regimes that were feeble before the start of this crisis.

“There is no lack of resources to create jobs and ensure a resilient recovery, and governments need to face up to their responsibilities to stop the looting. The detailed proposals that we are putting to finance ministers, the IMF and the World Bank will ensure that the inequality that has bedeviled the world economy – and the intersecting crises of climate change and COVID-19 – can be tackled.

“Recent comments from the IMF Managing Director about debt relief and the need to support the poorest are encouraging, and we look to world leaders to make the right decisions in the coming weeks. Any suggestion about the return of the failed politics of austerity, which were so destructive after the global financial crisis, must be thrown out the window,” said Ms Burrow.

Global Unions Statement to the IMF and World Bank meetings https://www.ituc-csi.org/statement-imf-wb-october-2020

L20/C20 Statement to the G20 Finance Ministers (in English) https://www.ituc-csi.org/IMG/pdf/c20_l20_statement.pdf

ITUC/ICC/Global Citizen open letter to Finance Ministers (in English) https://www.ituc-csi.org/ITUC-ICC-Global-Citizen-G20-Finance-Oct2020