Public support for action to invest in jobs outstrips ambitions of leaders, international unions warn OECD Ministerial

mayday2011_itucBrussels, 28 May 2013 (ITUC OnLine ):  Overwhelming public support for policies to create jobs, develop new industries and reduce unemployment and inequality is at odds with government actions, according to new public opinion polling from international unions.

Worldwide unemployment is set to rise above 200 million, with 48 million in the OECD area alone. Young women and men are particularly scarred by the crisis. Globally over 74 million young people under 25 are jobless.

Youth unemployment rates of 56 % in Spain and 38 % in Portugal and Italy are desperately alarming. Youth unemployment in the EU will remain above 17 % until 2015, according to the International Labor Organization.

Findings of public polling on policies to create jobs in 13 countries including 7 OECD countries (Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Spain, UK and the USA) show:

  • 92% of voters support government and public investment in education, research and new technologies;
  • 87% of voters support government and public investment in clean energy and environment related industries;
  • 85% of voters support policies to stop large and multi-national corporates avoiding tax.

“Job creation policies from increasing government and public investment in new technologies and clean energy to curbing multi-national tax avoidance have strong support from the public,” said Sharan Burrow, General Secretary International Trade Union Confederation.

International unions have put forward a nine point action plan for Ministers which includes coordination action to kick start the recovery process through increased investment in job creation, infrastructure, green growth and sustainable development.

“There is an urgent need for the OECD to review its policies, turn away from austerity and tackle the jobs crisis in a way that restores confidence and trust to working families

“Investing in new technologies, clean energy and environment-related industries can give people confidence that we are taking steps to create a future with jobs,” said Richard Trumka, President AFL-CIO

Unions have been calling for a coordinated jobs plan, funded by closing the loopholes in corporate taxation and investment in infrastructure including the green economy.

John Evans, General Secretary of the Trade Union Advisory Council to the OECD said the OECD is mandated by the G20 to propose policy recommendations to tackle tax planning which allows multinationals to pay as little as 5% effective corporate tax compared with small business paying up to 30%.

“Five years into the economic crisis the threat posed by tax havens has not disappeared. We need action not words,” said Mr Evans.

The Ministerial Council meeting of the Organisation of Economic Cooperation and Development will take place from 29th – 30th May.

The TUAC Statement to the OECD Ministerial meeting is available at www.tuac.org 

The ITUC represents 175 million workers in 156 countries and territories and has 315 national affiliates.  Follow the ITUC on the web: http://www.ituc-csi.org  and http://www.youtube.com/ITUCCSI  

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