As G20 finance ministers gather in the UK today (Friday) to agree the world’s response to the economic crisis, the Put People First platform has released a blueprint charting a path out of global recession that places jobs, justice and climate at the centre of global action.
Put People First, which is organising a march for jobs, justice and climate on 28 March in London in the run-up to the summit, says that the G20 must:
* create jobs by investing in public works and services and a green new deal that can both provide work and move to a low carbon economy; * make sure we never suffer from a another global recession caused by an out of control finance sector by creating and reforming international institutions and toughening up regulation; and, * reverse global inequality and injustice by fundamentally transforming the global economy.
The blueprint for change by the Put People First platform, an unprecedented group of diverse organisations representing over ten million people in the UK, charges that existing economic policies and institutions have failed to deliver a just or sustainable world. It argues that the current system is scarred by high levels of poverty and inequality, which is contributing to an environmental catastrophe that also causes massive economic damage. And it concludes that the notion that ‘the market always knows best’ has been shown to be fundamentally flawed.
TUC General Secretary Brendan Barber said: ‘For twenty years, governments round the world have believed that a mix of light touch regulation, tolerance of tax havens and a relaxed view of the growth of the global super-rich would deliver prosperity. Now we see that it was built on an illusion and as it crashes it takes down jobs, increases poverty and destroys communities with it.
‘We need a fresh start from Barack Obama, Gordon Brown and the other world leaders coming to London for the G20 summit. They need to admit the mistakes of the past, but more importantly build a different future that fights recession by making the world a fairer and a greener place.
‘And the UK can show a lead by cracking down on the tax havens in UK territories, stepping up investment in green jobs and getting tough on the deregulated world of tax avoidance, soaraway top pay and city bonuses.’
Head of Policy at ActionAid Claire Melamed said: ‘Finance ministers are the gatekeepers for the international response to the crisis and it is imperative that they put people, not special interest groups, first.
‘The starting point for any change must be the understanding that an unfairly regulated economy has wrecked many people’s lives at home and across the developing world.
‘The world’s leaders must be brave enough to rebuild a global economy that is fair and just and lives within its environmental means. They must signal that they are serious about fundamental change.’
Stop Climate Chaos Coalition Director Ashok Sinha said: ‘Ever increasing levels of consumption have led us dangerously close to the planet’s environmental limits. World leaders must seize the opportunity to tackle climate change and the economic downturn together. Only by investing in green jobs and thriving low carbon economies will a sustainable way of life be secured for generations to come.’
NOTES TO EDITORS:
– Put People First – March for Jobs, Justice and Climate on Saturday 28 March will start from the Embankment (Temple) at 12 noon and culminate in a rally in Hyde Park from 2pm. It will demand decent jobs and public services for all, an end to global poverty and inequality, and a green economy.
– The following organisations are backing the march: ActionAid, Action for Global Climate Community, ACTSA, Advocacy International, Akina Mama Wa Africa, AMREF UK, ATL, Avaaz, BECTU, BOND, Bretton Woods Project, CAFOD, Centre for Democracy and Development, Chartered Society of Physiotherapy, Change is Coming, Christian Aid, Compass, Concern Worldwide (UK), Co-operative News, Connect, Dalit Solidarity Network UK, Defend Council Housing, Engineers Against Poverty, Equity, Everychild, Fairtrade Foundation, Fatima Women’s Network, Find Your Feet, Fire Brigades Union, Friends of the Earth, GardenAfrica, Global Call to Action Against Poverty, GMB, Green New Deal Group, Greenpeace, HelpAge International, Jubilee Debt Campaign, Lattitude, Merlin, Micah Challenge UK, MRDF, Musicians Union, Muslim Council of Britain, NASUWT, National Union of Journalists, National Union of Teachers, NEF, New Internationalist, Nicaragua Solidarity Campaign, One World Action, Oxfam, Pants to Poverty, PCS, People and Planet, Progressio, Prospect, Red Pepper, RMT, Salvation Army, Save the Children, Shelter, Stamp Out Poverty, STOP AIDS Campaign, Stop Climate Chaos, Synergy Centre, Tax Justice Network, Teach a Man to Fish, Tearfund, Thirty-eight degrees, Tourism Concern, Trade Justice Movement, Trades Union Congress, Trading Visions, Traidcraft, Transnational Institute, Transport Salaried Staffs’ Association, UCU, UK Aid Network, UNISON, UNITE, Usdaw, VSO, War on Want, Womankind Worldwide, Women’s International League for Peace and Freedom, World Development Movement, World Vision, WWF.
– The policy statement is available at http://www.tuc.org.uk/extras/putpeoplefirstpolicy.pdf It
sets out 12 key policies for the G20 summit to address:
Put People First: Ensure democratic governance of the economy
We believe that the first step is that there is a need for a transparent and accountable process for reforming the international financial system. This will require the consultation of all governments, parliaments, trade unions and civil society, with the United Nations playing a key role.
1. Compel tax havens to abide by strict international rules.
2. Insist on fundamental governance reform of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund
3. Make all financial institutions, financial products and multinationals transparent and publicly accountable.
Jobs: Decent jobs and public services for all
4. Ensure a massive investment in a green new deal to build a green economy based on decent work and fair pay.
5. Invest in and strengthen public provision of essential services.
6. Work to ensure sufficient emergency funding to all countries that need it, without damaging conditionalities attached.
Justice: End global poverty and inequality
7. Deliver 0.7% of national income as aid by 2013, deliver aid more effectively and push for the cancellation of all illegitimate and unpayable developing country debts.
8. Ensure that poorer states are allowed to take responsibility for managing their economies, including controlling cross-border capital flows.
9. Stop pushing developing countries to liberalise and deregulate their economies, and do not attempt to rush through a completion of the Doha trade round, a deal that developing countries have rejected several times.
Climate: Build a Green Economy
10. In addition to the green new deal (recommendation 4), introduce the robust regulatory requirements and financial incentives needed to deliver a green economy.
11. Push for a deal at Copenhagen to agree substantial, verifiable cuts in greenhouse gases, which will limit temperature increases to well below 2°C.
12. Commit to substantial new resource transfer from North to South, additional to Overseas Development Assistance (ODA), to support adaptation and sustainable development in poor countries.