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Call for G20 Inclusive Growth Target - Report

13 November 2014 at 10:50 am
Xavier Smerdon
A new Not for Profit report reveals that nearly one billion more people would be better off should Prime Minister Tony Abbott rally G20 Leaders to adopt an inclusive growth target to reduce inequality.

Xavier Smerdon | 13 November 2014 at 10:50 am


Call for G20 Inclusive Growth Target - Report
13 November 2014 at 10:50 am

A new Not for Profit report reveals that nearly one billion more people would be better off should Prime Minister Tony Abbott rally G20 Leaders to adopt an inclusive growth target to reduce inequality.

The Save the Children report called ‘Inclusive Growth: Ensuring everyone shares in the benefits of G20’s 2% growth target,’ reveals a two per cent inclusive growth target would see 950 million of the poorest in G20 nations better off, with increased incomes of US$800 per person on average.

Civil society organisations (C20) Chair Tim Costello told a media conference today that the G20 meeting in Brisbane this week would be "declared a failure" by a "devastated" civil society if world leaders did not adequately address the issue. 

“We’ll be looking for a word. That word is ‘inclusive’ before the word ‘growth’…Inclusive growth is absolutely, unequivocally our demand," he said. 

The C20 say the Australian G20 Presidency has prioritised the achievement of an additional two percent growth target during its chairing of the G20, with world leaders – and business – pointing to the need for stronger growth.

“The excitement will be tempered by whether there is really robust and imaginative leadership at the G20. [Leadership] to overcome the trust deficit, much bigger than any budget deficit, between them and the people they govern…this is the moment for leaders to actually lead with global problems,” Costello said.  

The C20 says just aiming for stronger growth is not enough and called on G20 Leaders to include a ‘two percent inclusive growth target’ in their communique on Sunday at the Brisbane G20.

The Australian C20 Steering Committee comprises representatives of international and domestic civil society organisations including World Vision Australia, ACOSS, WWF, Oxfam, Transparency International, the National Council of Churches, ACFID and the National Employment Services Association. A number of individuals are also involved in the C20.

“An inclusive growth target will help ensure that the poorest people benefit in G20 member growth plans, and are not excluded.  Fairness in outcomes must be a key element of these plans,"  Costello said.

“The C20 proposes an achievable measure for a two percent increase in the incomes of the bottom 20% of households in each G20 country over the next five years to 2018, to align with the existing G20 growth target.

“Across the world, people are talking about the threat posed to economic stability by poverty and increasingly inequality.

“The G20 previously recognised the importance of inclusive growth at the St Petersburg Summit in 2013 but this commitment appears to have slipped off the G20 agenda in 2014.

“If we are to get a fair outcome for the world’s poor, we need to ensure that inclusive growth remains on the G20 agenda, and that we can measure its effectiveness."

Melissa Wells from Save the Children and co-author of the report said, "Australia’s G20 will go down in history for making a billion more people better off, so long as the Summit’s leaders to stick to their guns and ensure an inclusive growth target benefits the poorest households.”

Amanda Robbins from Equity Economics and co-author of the report said; "We need to actively consider the impact of policy decisions on the poorest households and an inclusive growth target focuses attention on this challenge, and provides a means to hold governments accountable for ensuring growth is shared."

The report calls on G20 leaders to:

  • Reaffirm their commitment to inclusive growth made at the St Petersburg Summit in 2013.

  • Ensure growth benefits the poorest households with a ‘two percent inclusive growth target'.

  • Assess the distributional impacts of major economic reform measures proposed as part of the two percent growth target.

To download a copy of the report click here.

Xavier Smerdon  |  Journalist  |  @XavierSmerdon

Xavier Smerdon is a journalist specialising in the Not for Profit sector. He writes breaking and investigative news articles.

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