End Austerity Activism Festival
September 16th, 2022
September 16th, 2022
Don’t miss the End Austerity Activism Festival starting Wednesday September 28th until Friday September 30thorganized by several organizations including FTC, Arab Watch Coalition, EURODAD, Action contre la Faim, Oxfam and many more! The Festival will hold several high-level events to denounce the wave of austerity spreading around the world, made worse by the current food and energy crisis, proposing people-centred solutions to the current crisis. Festival information and registration here!
By 2023, more than 80 countries are poised to roll back government spending below pre-pandemic levels, cutting social protection and introducing regressive taxes. All this is happening while 75 million and 95 million people are expected to be pushed into extreme poverty this year due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the cost of living crisis spurred by the Ukraine war amid rising inequality, according to the UN.
Yet a whopping 63% of all COVID-19 spending went to the corporate sector in 2020. We are asking for a different path out of the current crisis is possible to ensure a people-centred economic recovery, based on universal social protection and tacking gender inequalities.
The End Austerity Festival will officially launch the End Austerity Campaign, bringing together hundreds of civil society organisations and activists who at the outset of the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, 500 civil society organisations and individuals signed a petition calling on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to stop advising austerity measures to developing countries.
The festival offers a series of high-level and festive virtual discussion panels bringing together major personalities and grassroots organisations and activists to denounce the impact of austerity and where new research will be presented, advocating instead policies that emphasised social protection and support for those most impacted by the pandemic.
The events will also highlight the alternative measures to confront the current crisis which are being ignored by most governments and international organisations. They range from effectively implement progressive taxes and a global minimum corporate tax to tackle illicit financial flows, to wealth taxes to fund universal social protection to tax abuses that lead to billions of dollars being syphoned from Global South countries every year.
Austerity measures take various forms such as cuts in public budgets, especially essential services like social protection, healthcare and education, introduction of regressive taxation such as Value-Added Taxes (VAT), privatisation of state-owned enterprises, greater labour flexibility in terms of reducing wages and loosening labour rights, and increase big international corporations’ access natural resources.
These in turn threaten to intensify social, economic and gender inequalities in many countries, further undermining a public sector which is already under-financed and eroded. Developing countries face a “lost decade” as their pathways to achieve the UN Sustainable Development Goals are derailed, something that austerity measures will make worse, threatening the stability of countries.
The time to act is now.