Stop wasteful finance schemes and value work of public service workers

1st May in Barcelona
(30 April 2010) On 1st of May public service workers and their unions across Europe will demonstrate for decent jobs in essential services . A key message is that Europe needs its public services to get us out of the mess that greedy bankers and failing politicians have created. Investment in public infrastructure, in health and social care, in quality public administrations and municipal services will create the path to sustainable growth and jobs. Europe needs to maintain its social spending to assist demand in the economy. Tax cuts, privatization and slashing public deficits and reducing social spending will not do so.

“We know that for each euro invested in public services and public infrastructure multiple benefits are delivered to business, to workers and to citizens. It makes a greener economy possible and addresses inequalities and poverty in a way the innovative financial schemes of bankers have not been able to do, so stop such wasteful and damaging schemes” says Carola Fischbach-Pyttel, EPSU General Secretary. “We expect of the European Commission a forward looking strategy to investment in public infrastructure and public services.”

The effects on workers and their families of the financial and economic crisis, of globalization, of the increase in unemployment and precarious work, of the rise in the extreme-right, nationalism and racism will be in the minds of the millions who will take part in the 1 May festivities and marches.

We express our solidarity with the public service workers in Bulgaria, France, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Netherlands, Portugal, Roumania, Spain, UK, Ukraine and other European countries that have been fighting for decent pensions and pay increases, for job protection these recent months. Above all public service workers demand respect for the work they do in often difficult and dangerous circumstances as nurse or doctor, firefighter or police, tax collector or childcarer. What would happen if safe and clean drinking water is not delivered, the lights do not turn on, the waste is not collected and treated, your drivers’ license not prolonged in time. Or if the elderly are not taken care off and children do not have a teacher ? It is often forgotten that the vast majority of public service workers are low- or middle income earners and cuts in salaries will cause difficulties for workers and their families.

“We reject the easy solution of the liberal parties that seek tax cuts and forget to tell that you have to pay more for your services then. A banking tax, a financial transaction tax, maintaining and developing progressive taxation, addressing tax fraud and ending escape routes for corporations as well as shifting the burden of taxation of workers and their families to taxing wasteful use of resources are ways forward” she commented. “And these are the same measures such parties oppose.”

We wish all public service workers a combative 1 May.

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