Oct 03 2011
Ten point plan for recovery and growth in the European Union!
The Con/Dem Government in the UK say there is no alternative but to cut working peoples standard of living to get us out of the mess the bankers made.
The European Parliament’s main progressive group the Socialists and Democrats (of which I am a member) have adopted an ambitious, ten-point strategy on social policy aimed at improving people’s quality of life in the European Union.
The Socialists and Democrats rejected the notion that social policy cuts are an inevitable result of the crisis, condemning them instead as ‘…a deliberate political choice’ by the right-wing majorities that currently dominate all European institutions.
The cuts being imposed by right wing governments across the European Union (EU) are morally shameful and penalise innocent wage-earners and the poor for the sins of the rich bankers. The Socialist position paper warns of lasting damage to prospects of further European progress and warns that current policy will boost the electoral potential of nationalist, populist and anti-EU parties.
The document, is available for free download at www.socialistsanddemocrats.eu, (click here) and calls on Europe to take a new path by implementing ‘…an ambitious social strategy to secure strong social rights for all and at last to achieve real gender equality’.
The ten key points are:
1. Economic freedom must be matched by respect for advanced labour laws, including equal pay and full trade union rights;
2. Workers must be protected against excessive working time;
3. Legal workers from outside the EU should have the same rights as EU citizens;
4. Health and safety rules must be fully respected and improved where possible;
5. EU measures to eradicate poverty are needed, along with action on social exclusion and lack of access to education;
6. Completing the single market must include strengthening its social dimension, making the market not just a goal in itself but a way of improving people’s quality of life;
7. Restructuring of industries, whilst often unavoidable, must be accompanied by EU rules and policies to ensure that measures are socially decent;
8. Despite progress on equality and non-discrimination, more needs to be done in a range of areas;
9. The EU should draw up proposals for sustainable and fair future pension provision to avoid making people work longer or cut pensions; and
10. The gender pay gap – as much as 25 per cent in some countries – is a core problem to be addressed in a programme of gender equality actions.
For millions of European Union citizens, the present ‘bankers crisis’, unless dealt with by expansion, means unemployment and austerity. The cure imposed by conservative governments to cut debt and deficits has led to wage cuts, reduction of purchasing power and underinvestment in health, education and social services, leading to a surge in inequality. This is a recipe for social unrest.
The social fabric of Europe is under threat. That is why we urgently need positive expansionary action. We believe that our ten-point strategy is a sound basis on which the European Commission should now come forward with proposals for defending people’s social rights and securing social progress, if we want the European social model to remain a reference at global level, as the leader in promoting social justice.