Poverty needs to be addressed at G20

ANY PLEDGES of economic growth from the G20 must address the living standards of the poorest people in developed nations, community groups have urged leaders at this week's meeting.

The push from the Civil Society 20 follows pledges made at last year's G20 to ensure growth was "inclusive" of the poorest, and not only increased the assets of the richest people.

Chairman Tim Costello said if poverty was not properly addressed during the high-level meeting, it would be a "sad legacy of the Australian presidency" of the economic forum.

"The G20's Brisbane Action Plan must build on the formal commitment made in St Petersburg last year for inclusive growth to be a central focus of G20 decision-making," he said.

"Otherwise meeting the 2% growth target will be a hollow achievement and leaders will be judged as indifferent to those most in need."

Mr Costello said more than half the world's poor lived in G20 countries and there was a "yawning divide between the richest and poorest" that was undermining efforts to address global poverty.

"This is why the C20 is calling on the G20 to take action that will result in growth in the incomes of the bottom 20% of households, and for growth plans to be jobs-rich," he said.

"The G20 will be rendered irrelevant if it cannot deliver outcomes that benefit those beyond an exclusive economic elite."


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