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Conclusions. General context. Crisis affects the poor in 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

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general context
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)
general context ctd
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
eu2020 unsatisfactory
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
unsatisfactory ctd
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
a systemic crisis
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…)
need for reform
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
need for reform1
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)