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Conclusions

Conclusions

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Conclusions

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  1. Conclusions

  2. General context • Crisis affectsthe poorin different ways: • Unemployment (e.g. RO: GDP -7.2% in 2009 => 300.000 jobs lost) • Prices (fuel, rents, food…) • Assets (pension funds) • Tightening of credit conditions • Cutbacks in benefits and tightening of eligibilityconditions (e.g. PT 53% of unemployedcovered)

  3. General context (ctd) • crisis impoverishescountries • Massunemployment • Budget deficits & debts => austeritymeasures (GR, LV, PT…) • Loss of respect forhumandignity (e.g. activation of terminal cancerpatients in SE, UK) • Emigration – mainly of younghigh-skilledworkers (e.g. GR, RO, LV, PT) • Loss of sovereigntythroughconditionality of foreignassistance

  4. EU2020: unsatisfactory ! • EU 2020 includes a headline target forpovertyreduction (-20 mio), but • Implementation is alreadyuncertain • No mechanismsforenforcement( monetary and macro-economicpolicies) • EPAP is a policy agenda, nostructure • contrarytoallpromises, socialOMC is considerablyweakening • No NAPs nor ‘strategicreports’ => poverty ‘vanishes’ in NRPs (e.g. UK: povertynotmentioned / nonational target) • No genuineconsultation of stakeholders – not even in annualconvention

  5. Unsatisfactory ! (ctd) • Country-specificrecommendationsreflectglaringlack of poverty-sensitivity (e.g. noremarksabout absence of poverty target in UK) and indeed violatenationalsovereignty (e.g. reduction of unemploymentbenefits, reduction of minimum wages) • Treatment of poverty as ifitwereless urgent than the financial crisis

  6. A systemic crisis • governments as well as EU tackle crisis from orthodox neo-liberal / conservativeperspective: notjustbudgetaryconsolidationbutalso • Taxreduction (e.g. flat taxpolicies in CEEC) • Cutbacks in socialprotection (makingworkpay) • Deflationarymonetarypolicies • Taxcompetition and social dumping within EU • genuineroots of crisis lie in ‘casino-capitalism’ (bull, tank…)

  7. Needfor reform • General principles: • rebalancingeconomic, fiscal and socialpriorities • More democraticdecision-making => restorelegitimacy of EU policies (e.g. SGP) • Room for heterodox solutions • Recognition of productive effect of socialpolicies • commonfiscalpolicy • Resources tocombatpoverty are abundant butunfairlydistributed => restoreprogressivity • Taxcompetition and social dumping are counter-productive • Start with fin transactiontax and Eurobonds

  8. Needfor reform • Social minimum standards • Guaranteed minimum income (level, access, take-up) • Quality of (inclusive) jobs • Quality of services • New political culture • Trust and solidarity (gospel of workers of11th hour): invest in theircapabilitiesratherthansqueezingthemfinancially (makingworkpayideology)