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Only one in ten in G20 countries believe austerity will work

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16 June, 2012G20 leaders must urgently rethink policies and back job-centred growth, demands unions, after a new poll commissioned by the ITUC shows that only one in ten in G20 countries believe austerity will work.


International unions warned of a dangerous credibility gap between G20 Leaders' past statements on jobs and many G20 governments' actions that are pushing economies back into recession and destroying jobs.

The warning came as global unemployment climbs towards 210 million with 75 million young people unemployed. The OECD and ILO estimate 21 million jobs need to be created each year to return to pre-crisis employment rates by 2015.

Sharan Burrow, General Secretary of the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), said a global opinion poll commissioned by the ITUC showed only 13  per cent  of people believe they have real influence on governments' economic decisions, as the impact of G20 austerity policies that started in Toronto in 2010 take hold of family incomes and job security.

In a statement to G20 leaders, international unions said austerity measures in Europe and the premature withdrawal of government support for growth have pushed the Eurozone back into recession.

"Two thirds of people polled favoured investing in jobs and growth and only 10 per cent austerity. While we have seen glimmers of a debate emerging in Europe in the last few weeks, it is just that. There is no plan, no confidence that there will be investment in job-centred growth," said Sharan Burrow, ITUC General Secretary.

The global poll of 13 countries including 10 G20 economies showed 71 per cent of people don't feel they have job security, and only 11 per cent have seen their incomes go up more than the cost of living.

Trade union leaders under the auspices of the Labour 20 are calling for:

  • A "Los Cabos Growth and Jobs Plan"
  • Regulation of the financial system and the introduction of a  financial transactions tax
  • A G20 action plan and fund to support the implementation of Social Protection floors
  • Formalizing the L20 and B20 to increase the governance and accountability of the G20, and a joint meeting of the G20 Finance and Labour Ministers
  • Concrete action to implement the G20 Task Force recommendations on youth unemployment, with a mandate for renewed work by the Task Force that should report back to a G20 Labour Ministers' Meeting under the Russian G20 Presidency.

Read the L20 statement to the G20 Summit taking place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on June 20-22, 2012: http://www.ituc-csi.org/l20-statement-to-the-g20-summit.html

For more details on the poll commissioned by the ITUC go to: http://www.ituc-csi.org/poll-only-one-in-ten-in-g20.html