Oxfam verdict on the G20 summit

The G20’s promise to pursue inclusive and sustainable growth is welcome, but its response to the Ebola crisis is dangerously inadequate.

Inequality and inclusive growth

Oxfam International’s Executive Director Winnie Byanyima said:
 
“Extreme inequality is growing globally, including within G20 countries. 

“With the global consensus that inequality is bad for growth, tackling the issue needs to be front and centre of the G20’s plan to lift GDP.

“While we welcome the G20’s continued commitment to inclusive and sustainable growth, it must be followed up with actions to ensure the bottom 40% benefit more than the top 10%. 

Tax reform

“We welcome the G20’s commitment to and progress on cracking down on tax dodging by multinationals, but what’s on the table currently is not enough to stop poor countries being bled dry.

“Despite the best efforts of the OECD, most developing countries are still excluded from decision-making on global tax issues.

“Luxembourg, a tax haven, is part of the negotiations around reform of global tax rules, but Sierra Leone - where Ebola is raging and tax incentives for 6 multinational companies are the equivalent of 8 time the health budget – is not. This is not fair.

“Oxfam is now calling for a Global Tax Summit, where all countries participate equally in deciding fair tax rules for all.”

Ebola

“G20 leaders have recognised the short and long-term consequences of Ebola, but they have not made new commitments to deal with the crisis. This means there is a real risk that the UN’s 1 December target for turning the tide on Ebola will not be met.
 
“The USA, UK, EU, Canada, China and Germany are leading the way but overall the G20 Summit’s response to this crisis is hugely disappointing.”

Gender equality

“We welcome commitments to reduce the gender gap in workforce participation by 25 per cent by 2025.

“Achieving this target will have a positive impact on growth, but achieving gender equality will require other social and economic measures – including bridging the gender wage gap - to break the barriers to women’s full economic, social and political participation.”

“We welcome Turkey’s statement that it will put inequality and inclusivity on the agenda for its G20 presidency in 2015.”

Notes to editors

Download the Media Briefing: Turn the Tide: Why the G20 must act on rising inequality

Contact information

For interviews with Winnie Byanyima, please contact Caroline Hooper-Box on +61 400 540 704 or caroline.hooper-box@oxfaminternational.org; for other spokespeople (French, Spanish and Turkish languages) contact Laurelle Keough on +61 425 701 801 laurellek@oxfam.org.au 

For updates, follow @Oxfam.