ILO urges social spending against growing poverty

by MCR Correspondent

The International Labour Organization has on 19th of October, 2020 urged sustained social spending and other changes to counter the economic fallout caused by COVID-19.

ILO chief Guy Ryder made his recommendations on behalf of the global body representing workers, employers and governments to the annual meetings of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Ryder said, “The world economy needs to find a new, or at least supplemental engine of economic recovery,”

He underlined that countries must respond to the dangers of growing poverty, joblessness and inequality.

Ryder outlined the particularly severe impact of COVID-19 on many of the world’s two billion informal workers, whom he said had little protection.

“These include temporary, domestic or migrant workers,” he explained

“While some have access to sick leave and health services and continue to receive a salary, for many of those at the bottom of the income distribution, the consequences of COVID-19 have been catastrophic,” asserted Ryder.

“The COVID-19 crisis has exposed deep-rooted inequalities. Without profound structural changes, these will merely intensify, with consequences that would be very difficult to predict.”he added.

The organization said the impact of fiscal stimulus measures on employment has been positive, but uneven.

” In high-income countries, the announced fiscal stimulus measures amount to 10.1% of total working hours, while estimated working-hour losses averaged 9.4%,” it added.

“In low-income countries, the stimulus is equivalent to only 1.2% of total working hours, while working-hour losses averaged 9%,” it noted.

This “fiscal stimulus gap” is, therefore, around $982 billion in low-income and lower-middle-income countries.

Ryder called for post-COVID-19 policy frameworks to be consistent with international human rights principles and social security standards.

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