Cosatu slams worldwide austerity measures

2013-03-23 22:23
(File, Sapa)

(File, Sapa)

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Durban - Congress of SA Trade Union (Cosatu) president Sidumo Dlamini on Saturday criticised countries with leading economies for implementing austerity measures to deal with the economy crisis. "The reality is that the ruling class is panicking."It has no policies to resolve the economic breakdown, but they do have a very definite strategy that is being ruthlessly applied," he said.

Dlamini said the strategy was aimed at pumping new wealth into the ever expanding arteries of the profit system by driving down the social position of the working class.

"The ruling classes all over the world are seizing on the economic crisis to carry out massive attacks on the living standards of the working class through imposing austerity measures," he said.

Austerity describes policies used by government to reduce budget deficit during adverse economic conditions.

These policies can include spending cuts, tax increases or a mixture of the two.

He said the ruling class strategy had resulted in 73.8 million young people being unemployed world-wide. The International Labour Organisation predicted that the slowdown in economic activity will likely make another half million youth jobless by 2014, Dlamini said.

According to a study by the Plan International and the oversees Development Institute austerity measures were being implemented in 138 countries, including 94 developing countries. Dlamini said he was unhappy that the trade unions were not included in the fifth Brics summit.

"Comrades as we converge here today we are unhappy that even when our popular democratic and revolutionary governments meet, workers are not allowed a seat at the table of discussions about their future and yet business is being assured both a seat and a voice to influence the outcomes of these discussions," he said. The fifth Brics summit will be hosted at the iNkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre in Durban from 26 to 27 March.

Brics is an economic bloc representing five of the world's leading emerging economies, namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa.

Read more on:    cosatu  |  brics  |  sidumo dlamini  |  durban  |  economy

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