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EPSU publishes new research on austerity

21 January 2014
Launching the Annual Growth Survey in November, European Commission President José Manuel Barroso told us: “The return of growth shows that our policies are working. That is why, in this year’s Annual Growth Survey, we keep the same five priorities as we had last year.” And a year earlier he said: "It is crucial to stick to our strategy of growth-friendly fiscal consolidation, economic reforms and targeted investments. This is the only way to restore confidence and create lasting growth.”

So austerity is still with us but has it really managed to “restore confidence”. In a new briefing published by EPSU the arguments of the Commission are analysed and found wanting – rather than any beneficial effect on confidence, the opposite is the case: Austerity makes matters worse by undermining confidence.

The briefing tackles the need to reassure the financial markets. Using data from the International Monetary Fund, it makes clear that austerity has an immediate and strong negative impact on the economy, bringing down growth and actually undermining rather than boosting financial market confidence.

EPSU deputy general secretary Jan Willem Goudriaan commented: “The austerity and confidence myth of the Commission is profoundly debunked by our evidence and arguments. These show that austerity has spectacularly failed and that, in the lead up to the European elections we need to promote serious alternatives, like the ETUC’s investment plan for sustainable growth and decent jobs.”

For more information: Pablo Sanchez, psanchez@epsu.org


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