From the TUC

Global crisis: Put People First says there’s still more to do

13 Jun 2009, by in Economics, International

As G7 Finance Ministers gather in Italy, the people who brought you Put People First have issued a wake-up call to those politicians who have pressed the snooze button on tackling the crisis. We’re demanding that politicians get to grips with the crisis and do a whole lot more than they have managed so far. Report – Beyond the London Summit – here. Press release here.

“Crisis? What crisis?” was the headline over Philip Stephens’ piece in the FT on Friday (see Nigel’s comments here). And although he wasn’t quite arguing that the crisis was over, several people do indeed seem to be arguing that. There have been some positive statistics recently, and certainly the Keynesian actions taken by governments of all political colours seem to have mitigated some of the effects of the crisis.

But there are still a lot of negative statistics (the most negative of all being the number of people still losing their jobs around the world, and those who are still living in fear), as Paul Krugman writes. And those arguing that the crisis is coming to an end, or talking up the ‘green shoots’, seem to couple that over-optimistic analysis with a suggestion that maybe we need go no further than the Keynesian injections of money into the system.

There is a huge amount still to do. More on global governance and rules for the global finance sector. More on job creation and skills (and in some cases more yet to be done in protecting vulnerable industries and jobs), More on aid for developing countries. And much, much more on tackling climate change.

It’s understandable that people will want to hear the positive and ignore the negative, but the recession is still throwing people on the barely adequate dole, governments like Italy are still cutting overseas aid budgets, and we are still a long way off a deal at the Copenhagen climate summit scheduled for December.

So we’re still calling for politicians to Put People First, and we haven’t gone away, because there’s still a lot to do.