Oxfam International Blogs - austerity http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/tags/austerity es The most popular tax in history? The ‘Million Strong’ campaign for a Robin Hood Tax http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/26678 <div class="field field-name-body"><p>From Rome to Berlin, Robin Hood Tax campaigners are coming together this week to present a <a href="http://www.robinhoodtax.org.uk/take-action">‘Million Strong’ petition</a> to European leaders. Since the campaign launched, supporters in Europe have taken over a million actions in support of the Financial Transaction Tax (FTT), making it one of the most popular taxes in history.</p> <p>The ‘million strong’ petition is being handed in across Europe as 11 EU governments are finalising a deal on the FTT – a tiny tax on banks which could raise billions to fight poverty, inequality and climate change both in Europe and developing countries – in June.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en" xml:lang="en"><p lang="fr" dir="ltr" xml:lang="fr">Plus d’un million de soutiens à une taxe pr la <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/solidarit%C3%A9?src=hash">#solidarité</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/climat?src=hash">#climat</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/sant%C3%A9?src=hash">#santé</a> <a href="http://t.co/oPLq7n9vOK">http://t.co/oPLq7n9vOK</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MillionStrong?src=hash">#MillionStrong</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/TTF?src=hash">#TTF</a> <a href="http://t.co/m41ZmvOsr4">pic.twitter.com/m41ZmvOsr4</a></p> <p>— Oxfam France (@oxfamfrance) <a href="https://twitter.com/oxfamfrance/status/596330110250295296">May 7, 2015</a></p></blockquote> <script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p>This milestone has been a long-time coming, so it’s useful to remind ourselves what a different this tiny tax could make:</p> <ul><li>€5.5 billion ($6.2bn) puts <strong>every child on earth in primary school</strong></li> <li>Allocating a quarter of annual revenues to the <a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/tags/green-climate-fund">Green Climate Fund</a> would guarantee an annual predictable replenishment of almost €10bn</li> <li>€7 billion ($7.7bn) pays for free-at-point of-use public health care for 200,000 people</li> </ul><p><strong>The petition is a wakeup call </strong>for EU leaders to put the provision of schools, hospitals and the fight against climate change before the profits of the banks. And it’s a reminder that it’s high-time that they turned their words of commitment into action.</p> <blockquote class="twitter-tweet" lang="en" xml:lang="en"><p lang="en" dir="ltr" xml:lang="en">On Tuesday, will EU Finance Ministers listen to the <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/MillionStrong?src=hash">#MillionStrong</a> and back a broadbased <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/FTT?src=hash">#FTT</a>? Or the banks? <a href="http://t.co/L2FORqUXX6">http://t.co/L2FORqUXX6</a></p> <p>— Oxfam International (@Oxfam) <a href="https://twitter.com/Oxfam/status/597824824493350915">May 11, 2015</a></p></blockquote> <script async="" src="//platform.twitter.com/widgets.js" charset="utf-8"></script><p><strong>It’s also an opportunity</strong> to reflect on the strength of the movement. Born in the wake of the financial crisis – as the iron fist of austerity descended Europe into mass unemployment and overseas aid fell – the Financial Transaction Tax movement has blossomed through its call for economic justice for all. And the million-strong petition is testament to its power and perseverance.  </p> <p><strong>The fact that we are so close </strong>to an agreement on the tax also shows that good things are worth waiting for. But more importantly, they are worth fighting for. The wait and the fight must continue as an agreement on the design of the tax is expected before the EU breaks for its summer holidays in June.</p> <p>Now, more than ever, we need to keep knocking on governments’ doors, urging them to turn words into action in the face of ongoing lobbying from the financial sector, and to listen to the public not private interest.</p> <h3>What you can do now</h3> <p><a href="https://www.oxfam.org/en/action/sign-robin-hood-tax-petition"><strong>Support the Robin Hood Tax now</strong></a></p> <p><em>This entry posted by Francesca Carnibella, Oxfam Global Campaigner, Inequality, on 12 May 2015.</em></p> <p><em>Photo: Robin Hood campaigners outside the German Finance Ministry handing in the Million Strong petition. Credit: DGB/Steinle, 7 May 2015</em></p> <h3>You may also like</h3> <p><a href="https://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/15-01-23-why-oxfam-calling-world-tax-summit"><strong>Why Oxfam is calling for a World Tax Summit</strong></a></p> </div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>The most popular tax in history? The ‘Million Strong’ campaign for a Robin Hood Tax </h2></div> Tue, 12 May 2015 12:44:53 +0000 Francesca Carnibella 26678 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/26678#comments Why Greece rejected the austerity that increased poverty and inequality http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/25160 <div class="field field-name-body"><p>When the election results were finally announced in Greece two weeks ago, they were just a formality. Exit polls confirmed what most had suspected long before votes began fluttering into the ballot boxes – that Syriza would sweep into power in Athens on a firm anti-austerity ticket. Greece’s <a href="http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/world/greece-syriza-elections-greeks-has-voted-for-a-new-politics-not-just-a-new-party" rel="nofollow"><strong>rejection of austerity</strong></a> policies <a href="http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2015/01/25/379769704/future-of-eurozone-at-stake-in-todays-greek-elections" rel="nofollow"><strong>may raise eyebrows</strong></a> across Europe, but it should not come as a surprise.</p> <h3>The perils of austerity</h3> <p>Civil society has been warning about the possibility of a continental ‘lost decade’ for several years, with Oxfam predicting that damaging austerity policies could force up to 25 million Europeans into poverty by 2025. Such a slide towards destitution has already occurred in Greece, and elsewhere, including Spain and Portugal.</p> <p>As of the end of last year, one in four Greeks were unemployed, rising to over 60 percent of under 25s.  This unemployment, coupled with cuts to public services, plunged many in Greece into <a href="http://www.project-syndicate.org/commentary/greece-eurozone-austerity-reform-by-joseph-e--stiglitz-2015-02" rel="nofollow"><strong>dire straits</strong></a>. Public debt stands at 175 percent of GDP, with the Mediterranean nation experiencing a worse period of growth than the US during the Great Depression in the 1930s. Meanwhile, investment in the Greek healthcare system dropped dramatically due to austerity policies, leaving one in three Greeks <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/08/business/greek-austerity-spawns-fakery-playing-nurse.html" rel="nofollow"><strong>without medical insurance</strong></a> due to long term unemployment.</p> <h3>Public outcry</h3> <p>The implications of Syriza’s election may concern Greece’s creditors, but such a strong public call against austerity is understandable when the decimation inflicted upon Greek society is taken into account.</p> <p><strong>Growing extreme economic inequality</strong> across the globe is highlighted in Oxfam’s latest report, <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/research/wealth-having-it-all-and-wanting-more" rel="nofollow"><strong>Wealth: Having It All and Wanting More</strong></a>, as is the detrimental effect this is having on attempts to combat poverty. Today the 80 richest people on the planet have the same wealth as the poorest half. </p> <p>The level of inequality rose in Greece after austerity policies were implemented, as it did in other countries cutting back on public spending, resulting in the poor getting poorer or the rich getting richer – and in some cases both.</p> <h3>Inequality is not inevitable</h3> <p>The good news is that inequality is not inevitable and alternatives to austerity exist. Decision-makers should promote a new economic and social model that invests in people, strengthens democracy and pursues fair taxation.</p> <p><strong>Ensuring that workers are paid a living wage</strong> to cover basic needs like food, housing and clothing, while providing this workforce with safety nets, is crucial to stave off the negative effects austerity could force onto societies across Europe. The effects of austerity in Greece saw wages there drop by an alarming ten percent between 2012 and 2013, further adding to the country’s poverty epidemic.</p> <p><strong>But money raised from an efficient tax system</strong> in Greece could have avoided cuts to healthcare and education budgets and provided the ‘virtual income’ that many poor people benefit from through access to public services.  Tax evasion and avoidance by large companies and wealthy individuals costs Europe at least €120 billion in lost tax revenue every year, not to mention the billions siphoned away from developing economies in desperate need of revenue to finance their own progress. In Greece, the amount of tax dodged may have reached almost a third of GDP between 1999 and 2007 – <em>the biggest informal economy of any EU country</em>.</p> <h3>Povery and inequality are linked</h3> <p>But why is tackling inequality so important to fighting poverty? Well, when economic and political power is only <a href="http://oxfamblogs.org/mindthegap/2015/02/04/dont-miss-the-big-picture-oxfam-highlights-inequality-because-wealthispower/" rel="nofollow"><strong>in the hands of the few</strong></a>, the needs of the rest of society fall by the wayside. This is the message Greece delivered to the European Union on Sunday, and it’s a message that must be heeded by European governments and institutions alike.  After this firm rejection of the economic status quo, there is only one course of action the EU can take.</p> <p>For starters, European Commission President Juncker must begin to shift Europe’s focus away from detrimental austerity measures and propose tangible initiatives to clamp down on tax dodging by individuals and companies – for the benefit of both Europeans and people the world over.</p> <p><em>This post was written by Àngela Corbalán, Oxfam’s Head of EU Communications and Deputy Head of EU Office, <a href="http://https://twitter.com/angelacorbalan" rel="nofollow"><strong>@AngelaCorbalan</strong></a>. Originally posted by <a href="http://www.neurope.eu/article/why-greece-rejected-austerity-increased-poverty-and-inequality" rel="nofollow"><strong>New Europe</strong></a> on 1 February 2015.</em></p> <p><em>Photo: Demonstrators in front of the Greek parliament, 29 May 2011. Credit: Kotsolis at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0.</em></p> <p><em>For updates, please follow <a href="http://twitter.com/Oxfam" rel="nofollow"><strong>@Oxfam.</strong></a></em></p> <h3>What you can do now</h3> <p><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/action/make-corporations-pay-their-fair-share" rel="nofollow"><strong>Join the call to make tax fair now.</strong></a></p> <h3>You may also like</h3> <p><a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/15-01-23-why-oxfam-calling-world-tax-summit"><strong>Why is Oxfam calling for a World Tax Summit?</strong></a></p> <p><strong>Oxfam’s latest report: <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/research/wealth-having-it-all-and-wanting-more" rel="nofollow">Wealth: Having It All and Wanting More</a></strong> </p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Why Greece rejected the austerity that increased poverty and inequality</h2></div> Mon, 09 Feb 2015 05:09:28 +0000 Àngela Corbalán 25160 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/25160#comments Tax inequality at the heart of European public discontent http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/10630 <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em><strong>It is a shocking indictment of the system that the <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/policy/working-for-the-few-economic-inequality" rel="nofollow">85 richest people</a> on the planet own as much money as the world’s bottom half, and in Europe the top 10 richest people have a combined wealth of €217bn – reveals Natalia Alonso.</strong></em></p> <p>Europe is running the risk of a lost generation. Hit by growing economic inequality and poverty, governments are failing to provide good quality public services and to close the gap between the rich and the poor. As public outcry increases, it should become clear to European Union leaders meeting in Brussels today and tomorrow that unfair tax policies are at the centre of this discontent.</p> <p>It is a shocking indictment of the system that the 85 richest people on the planet own as much money as the world’s bottom half. This fact is no less emblematic than in Europe where the top 10 richest people have a combined wealth of €217bn. This is more than the 2008 EU stimulus package introduced to supposedly create ‘all-inclusive’ growth when the economic crisis kicked in. Six years on, nearly one in four Europeans are at risk of poverty and the situation is set to worsen due to the <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/policy/cautionary-tale-austerity-inequality-europe" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>impact of austerity policies</strong></a>.</p> <p>With such eye-opening statistics, it is hardly surprising that public support – both in the developed and developing world – for fairer income distribution has seen a dramatic increase, as the International Monetary Fund pointed out last week. The IMF, which has now <a href="http://politicsofpoverty.oxfamamerica.org/2014/02/power-myth-economic-policymaking-new-imf-research-debunks-dogma-redistribution-inequality-economic-growth/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>debunked the old myth</strong></a> that redistribution is bad for growth, advises governments to implement progressive tax systems that help fund essential public services – including health, education and social security. All of which will help economic mobility and, ultimately, reduce inequality.</p> <h3>Tax and inequality</h3> <p><strong>The way we tax is important.</strong> In an era of almost weekly scandals of multinationals dodging their taxes, many are challenging a system that lets the richest walk away from their financial obligations by hiding money in far-away bank accounts while the poorest end up picking up the tab. As each European citizen loses about €2,000 every year because of tax evasion and tax avoidance, their governments continue to turn a blind eye to this tax injustice.</p> <p>Dodgy tax policies do not just affect Europeans but also those in the developing world as well. As multinational companies, many of them in the EU, may shift more than €350bn away from some of the world’s poorest societies through shady practices – it is often ignored that these practices are diverting money from those who need it the most.</p> <p>The reasons for tackling tax injustice are obvious. It is now time to implement change. At this week’s summit, leaders are set to finally give the green light to review the EU Savings Tax Directive. It represents a significant step in addressing tax cooperation between member states. By expanding the automatic exchange of tax information, governments will now have the opportunity to discover which individuals are shirking their responsibilities – bringing a new level of scrutiny to European tax evaders.</p> <h3>Tax transparency critical</h3> <p><strong>Politicians and officials</strong> must now build on this momentum by pushing for an even greater tax transparency agenda. One policy governments should be particularly receptive to is the so-called ‘country by country reporting’. This would help pinpoint where companies are producing real economic work. Obliging big companies to release information on where they work and how much they pay in tax will not only create greater public confidence in multinationals but also impress investors who will have far greater clarity when investing into companies.</p> <p><strong>Transparency rules</strong> must also highlight the abusive use of shell companies, a process in which corporations or individuals store large amounts of income in countries that have little relevance to their business but low tax rates. The <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/pressroom/reactions/european-parliament-gives-overwhelming-yes-vote-end-secret-corporate-ownership" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>European Parliament recently recognised</strong></a> this immoral practice. An encouraging signal that should be now backed by national leaders.</p> <p>Transparency is a crucial tool in the greater challenge against tax dodging. As some might suggest, it will not wholly solve the issue but the fundamental principle resides: those who have nothing to hide, have nothing to fear. Ensuring that companies and individuals can no longer hide could, in the long term, will help heal the gross inequalities that persist in our society.</p> <p><em>Natalia Alonso is head of the charity Oxfam’s European office.</em></p> <p><em>Originally posted by <a href="http://www.policyreview.eu/tax-inequality-creating-a-lost-generation-in-europe/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>Policy Review</strong></a>.</em></p> <p><a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/sites/blogs.oxfam.org/files/poor-countries-lose-billions-tax-dodging.jpg" target="_blank"><em></em></a></p> <h3>You may also like</h3> <p><a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/14-02-10-3-ways-tax-can-help-close-inequality-gap"><strong>3 ways tax justice can help close the inequality gap</strong></a></p> <p><a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/14-02-12-toward-international-movement-tackle-inequality"><strong>Toward an international movement to tackle inequality</strong></a></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Tax inequality at the heart of European public discontent</h2></div> Thu, 20 Mar 2014 16:07:42 +0000 Natalia Alonso 10630 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/10630#comments Working for the Few: Inequality and the threat to democracy http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/10581 <div class="field field-name-body"><p><strong>Emerging from the financial crisis, the global economy is strengthening. Yet around the world most people are still being excluded from opportunities to better themselves and achieve prosperity.</strong> Increasingly the biggest benefits of growth are being captured instead by a tiny elite. We live in a world where the 85 richest people own the wealth of half of the world’s population. </p> <p>In the United States, the increase in the income share of the top one per cent is at its highest level since the eve of the Great Depression. In India, the number of billionaires has increased tenfold in the past decade. In Europe, poor people struggle with<a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/policy/cautionary-tale-austerity-inequality-europe" rel="nofollow"><strong> post-recovery austerity policies</strong></a> while moneyed investors benefit from bank bailouts. Africa has had a resource boom in the last decade but most people there still struggle daily for food, clean water and health care.</p> <h3>Inequality on the global agenda</h3> <p>The problem of inequality has <a href="http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2014/01/21/davos_wants_you_to_know_it_really_really_cares_about_inequality" rel="nofollow"><strong>shot up</strong></a> the <a href="http://forumblog.org/2014/01/four-big-issues-davos-programme/" rel="nofollow"><strong>global agenda</strong></a>. President Obama has made it a key priority for the US administration in 2014. The IMF says that in too many countries the benefits of growth are being enjoyed by far too few people. The World Economic Forum, meeting this week in Davos, has identified economic inequality as a major risk to human progress, that it undermines social stability and threatens security on a global scale.</p> <p>It’s widely acknowledged that extreme concentrations of wealth are not just morally questionable but they stunt long-term economic growth too, making it more difficult to reduce poverty. What must now be admitted is that extreme income inequality is dangerous because it also threatens to undermine democratic governance.</p> <h3>Political power benefits the rich</h3> <p>Oxfam has spent 70 years working to fight poverty and injustice in more than 90 countries. We’ve witnessed first-hand how the wealthiest individuals and groups can capture political power at the expense of the rest of society. A massive concentration of resources is a significant threat to inclusive political and economic systems. </p> <p>Increasingly, in rich and poor countries alike, the lowest tax rates, the best health and education and the opportunity to influence are being given not just to the rich but also to their children. Without a concerted effort to tackle inequality, the cascade of privilege and of disadvantage will continue down the generations, and equality of opportunity will be just a dream.</p> <h3>Inequality is not inevitable</h3> <p>Extreme inequality is not inevitable. It can be reversed quickly. There are clear examples of success. The US and Europe in the three decades after World War II reduced inequality while growing prosperous. Ghana’s recent Petroleum Revenue Management Bill is a good example of how targeted regulation can promote shared prosperity. Latin America has significantly reduced inequality in the last decade through progressive taxation, public services, social protection and decent work. Central to this progress has been popular politics that represent the majority, instead of being captured by a small minority. </p> <p>Governments must crack down on financial secrecy keeping trillions hidden in tax havens. They must invest more in universal education and healthcare. Together, they must work to an agreed global goal to end extreme inequality in every country. For their part, the economic elite must refrain from using their wealth to seek political favors that undermine the democratic will of their fellow citizens. They should be made to publish their investments and to ensure that decent jobs and living wages are paid throughout all the companies they own or control.</p> <p>Together, for the benefit of all, we need to reverse this dangerous trend, which threatens to unravel long and hard-fought battles against poverty and injustice.</p> <p><em>Winnie Byanyima is the Executive Director of Oxfam International. She is attending the Davos <a href="http://www.weforum.org/" rel="nofollow"><strong>World Economic Forum</strong></a>.</em></p> <p><strong>Download the report: <a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/policy/working-for-the-few-economic-inequality" rel="nofollow">Working for the Few: Political capture and economic inequality</a></strong></p> <p><strong>Follow us at Davos this week <a href="twitter.com/oxfam" rel="nofollow">@Oxfam</a>.</strong></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>Working for the Few: Inequality and the threat to democracy </h2></div><ul class="links inline"><li class="translation_es first"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/blogs/14-01-23-debemos-acabar-con-la-desigualdad-extrema-la-gran-amenaza-para-el-progreso-humano" title="Gobernar para las élites: desigualdad y amenaza para la democracia" class="translation-link" xml:lang="es">Español</a></li> <li class="translation_fr last"><a href="http://l.blogs.oxfam/fr/blogs/14-01-23-finir-inegalites-extremes-menaces-democratie" title="En finir avec les inégalités extrêmes, menaces pour la démocratie" class="translation-link" xml:lang="fr">Français</a></li> </ul> Wed, 22 Jan 2014 16:25:13 +0000 Winnie Byanyima 10581 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/10581#comments A cautionary tale: Europe's bitter crisis of austerity and inequality http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/10428 <div class="field field-name-body"><p><em>By Winnie Byanyima and Sharan Burrow</em></p> <p><strong>Because of austerity, Europeans may have to live through the type of disastrous period experienced by Latin Americans, Asians and Africans in the 1980s and 1990s.</strong></p> <p>Europe's aggressive plans to balance the books by slashing public spending are proving to be a disaster. By ignoring mistakes from history, Europe risks repeating them. The most vulnerable people in Europe are facing an ‘austerity winter' that could last a generation.</p> <p>The European Union is in a bitter crisis of unemployment and inequality that is driving economic instability and social despair. One in two working families are directly affected by the loss of jobs or reduction of working hours, according to this year's International Trade Union Confederation's Global Poll.</p> <p>Already by the end of last year, more than 24% of Europe's population, 121 million people, were living at risk of poverty. We predict that number could rise by up to 25 million by 2025 unless austerity policies are scrapped and an alternative course set.</p> <p>Unions and poverty relief organizations see the axe of austerity falling on the most vulnerable people much as it did in Latin America, south-east Asia and sub-Saharan Africa throughout the 1980s and 1990s. This disastrous period saw the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) force ‘structural adjustment' – austerity by another name – upon indebted countries. Wages fell, labor rights disappeared, inequality rocketed, health and education services were lost to all but those who could afford to pay for them. It took 25 years for Latin America to claw its way back to pre-crisis poverty levels, 10 years for south-east Asia. A new report by Oxfam – “<a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/policy/cautionary-tale-austerity-inequality-europe" rel="nofollow"><strong>A Cautionary Tale</strong></a>” – describes their similarities then with Europe now. They only managed to recover prosperity by taking steps that were entirely contrary to the IMF's prescription, such as increasing rather than cutting social spending, tackling inequality, and re-building public institutions.</p> <p><strong><em>"By the end of last year, more than 24% of Europe's population, 121 million people, were living at risk of poverty."</em></strong></p> <p><strong><em></em></strong></p> <p>But the new IMF is still the old IMF. Even its own research shows that austerity is not working. While fiscal consolidation over time is certainly prudent management, the social and economic benefits of austerity policy lacks even a credible academic base. The IMF should reform its own policies to reflect practical realities.</p> <p>Austerity is failing on its own terms: debts have not fallen fast enough, in some countries they have even gone up. At the same time, austerity is causing a terrible human cost too.</p> <p><strong>Globally, austerity hurts too.</strong> The IMF, for the seventh consecutive time in June, revised down global growth projections to a mere 3.1%. While we may be seeing the decline in advanced economies stall, Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa –the BRICS bloc of emerging countries – have become the latest casualty of falling demand due to the impact of austerity.</p> <p>In Europe, the UK will cut 1.1 million public-sector jobs by 2018; twice as many women will lose their jobs than men. Greece, Latvia, Portugal and Romania have slashed their social-security budgets by more than 5%. Across Europe, health spending last year dropped for the first time in decades, real wages fell and unemployment rates hit their highest levels in a decade. Almost one in ten working households in Europe now lives in poverty.</p> <p><strong>The gap between rich and poor</strong> people is widening fastest inside those countries that are most aggressively pursuing these budget-slashing policies – the UK, Greece, Portugal, Spain, Italy and Ireland. One or more of these could blow out to become among the most unequal countries in the world by 2025. The beneficiaries of austerity, beyond the banks that caused the shattering €4.5 trillion public debt blow-out in the first place, are the richest 10% of Europe's population who alone have seen their share of the income pie increase.</p> <p>Europe is putting its people – more accurately, the 90% outside the top income bracket – through unnecessary pain and suffering. There are clear alternatives available, such as dialogue with workers and their unions, smart targeted investment in people and decent work and a social protection floor, over the blunt knife of public spending cuts.</p> <p><em><strong>Winnie Byanyima</strong> is Oxfam International's executive director and <strong>Sharan Burrow</strong> is general secretary of the <a href="http://www.ituc-csi.org/?lang=en" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"><strong>International Trade Union Confederation</strong></a> (ITUC).</em></p> <p><em>Originally published by <strong><a href="http://www.europeanvoice.com/article/2013/september/a-cautionary-tale/78175.aspx" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">European Voice</a></strong></em>.</p> <p><a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/sites/blogs.oxfam.org/files/6069_eu_austerity_infographic-oix1000.png"></a></p> <h3>You may also like</h3> <p><strong><a href="http://www.oxfam.org/en/policy/cautionary-tale-austerity-inequality-europe" rel="nofollow">11 country case studies </a>on austerity and inequality in Europe</strong></p> <p><strong>Blog: <a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/13-04-05-keeping-eye-have-mores">The Post-2015 agenda: Keeping an eye on the have-mores</a></strong><a href="http://blogs.oxfam.org/en/blogs/13-04-05-keeping-eye-have-mores"></a></p></div><div class="field field-name-title"><h2>A cautionary tale: Europe&#039;s bitter crisis of austerity and inequality</h2></div> Fri, 13 Sep 2013 16:35:48 +0000 Winnie Byanyima 10428 at http://l.blogs.oxfam http://l.blogs.oxfam/es/node/10428#comments