Jobs are the answer for inclusive growth in the G20 says L20

photo: ACTU/Mark Phillips

Press Conference: L20 Press Conference, International Media Centre, BCEC 3:00 pm Brisbane Time Saturday 15th November.

To put the G20 G20 The Group of Twenty, or G20, is a forum for international cooperation on the most important aspects of the international economic and financial agenda. It brings together 19 countries and the European Union, which together represent around 90% of global GDP, 80% of global trade and two thirds of the world’s population. on course to achieve the 2% GDP growth target governments need to pursue a coordinated increase in wages and investment in infrastructure, the L20 said today.

Sharan Burrow said L20 economic modelling shows that a coordinated increase in wages and investment in infrastructure could halve the global jobs gap and create up to 5.84 percentage points more growth in G20 G20 The Group of Twenty, or G20, is a forum for international cooperation on the most important aspects of the international economic and financial agenda. It brings together 19 countries and the European Union, which together represent around 90% of global GDP, 80% of global trade and two thirds of the world’s population. countries, compared to business as usual.

“’Business as usual’ means inequality is set to deepen in G20 G20 The Group of Twenty, or G20, is a forum for international cooperation on the most important aspects of the international economic and financial agenda. It brings together 19 countries and the European Union, which together represent around 90% of global GDP, 80% of global trade and two thirds of the world’s population. countries and a worsening slump in wages will slash demand unless the G20 take action,” Ms Burrow said.

The L20 is calling on the G20 to commit to:

- 1% of GDP invested in infrastructure in every country, in particular infrastructure that supports a transition to a low-carbon economy;

- a recognition that investment, including workers’ pension funds must be on the basis of the G20 /OECD High Level Principles on Long Term Investment;

- formalizing jobs through workers’ rights and by ensuring a minimum wage, safe workplaces and social protection floors;

- measures to promote inclusive growth that enables women and young people to participate in secure jobs;

- youth guarantees that ensure work, and/ or education and training with the scaling up of quality apprenticeships as agreed between the B20/L20;

- implement the OECD Action Plan on tax avoidance and evasion to ensure fair taxation;

- adopt reforms to honour past G20 commitments on financial regulation and ending ‘too big to fail’ banks;

- ensure that trade and supply chains contribute to decent work creation and safe work-places.

Ms Burrow said the G20 has set a target of two percent of growth above expectations over the next five years but the question is how to get there.

L20 research shows 33 million jobs could be created by coordinating wage increases and investment in infrastructure and unions will be urging governments globally to act on it.

“In Brisbane, the G20 needs to agree on a plan for jobs and growth, putting in place comprehensive measures to support aggregate demand, reduce inequality and spur investments. This must be backed up by national job creation targets, and followed up in consultation with social partners,” said John Evans, General Secretary of the Trade Union Advisory Committee to the OECD (TUAC).

“Renewed austerity will slow recovery down. There needs to be a fundamental policy shift, the Brisbane growth plans can trigger it. We want to see support for quality jobs, responsible and green investment strategies and policies supporting well-being and consumption by raising workers’ incomes”, said Evans.

ACTU President and Chair of the Australian L20 Steering Group Ged Kearney said Prime Minister Abbott’s attack on wages and conditions and inaction on climate change puts him out of step with global leaders.

“A test of Australia’s Presidency of the G20 has been what has been left off the agenda.

“While the IMF, the World Bank and the OECD have recognised the threat to our social cohesion posed by growing economic inequality, and the need for policies to address this, inequality has barely been mentioned by the Australian Government during its presidency.

“While the threat of global warming grows ever more present, the Australian government has reversed action to cut carbon emissions and deal with climate change, while actively seeking to keep climate change off the G20 agenda all together.

“The concept of ‘inclusive growth’ whilst supported by many, has also gone missing in action under Australia’s presidency,” said Ms Kearney.

Read the L20 Recommendations to the G20

Read the L20 Statement to G20 Leaders