Given the high debt level, large-scale increases in social spending are not affordable. Instead, Japan needs to focus on the underlying cause of rising equality and poverty through structural reforms that can provide a double dividend by boosting economic growth and social cohesion.
There is nothing inevitable about high and growing inequalities, said Mr Gurría. Our report clearly indicates that upskilling of the workforce is by far the most powerful instrument to counter rising income inequality. The investment in people must begin in early childhood and be followed through into formal education and work, he added.
The jobs crisis has three particularly worrying aspects. First, the risk of unemployment becoming entrenched is more and more real in a number of G20 countries. Second, the crisis impacts disproportionately on youth. Finally, growing inequality threatens to affect social cohesion and the living standards of vulnerable families and individuals. To deal with these threats, job creation must be restarted quickly, accompanied by stronger
At this pre-G20 Event 'Growing Economies through Women’s Entrepreneurship', A. Gurría declared that 'Girls and women represent 3.3 billion ways to change this world. This is the lemma from this year’s G20 Girls Summit. It is also a powerful truth. We need to unleash this potential.'
The recent surge in social movements is a clear call for an economy with a more human face. Reconciling long-term economic growth and people’s well-being can be achieved if structural policies focus on what matters most to people in advanced and less-advanced economies alike, said Angel Gurría.
Urgent action must be taken by the governments to tackle high unemployment and growing inequality. Good-quality social policies, particularly those addressed to the most vulnerable, should be seen as sound investments to promote economic growth and well-being, according to Angel Gurría.
Tackling the employment challenge and the rise in inequality, the most urgent issues for policy-makers, could be achieved within the current public budgets by using more in-work benefits, or improving equal access and quality of education and training said Angel Gurría.
Policies that promote job creation, better job opportunities and well-functioning social safety nets are crucial for helping the many who are still struggling to find jobs. These policies are not just spending items in a strained public budget. They are a vital social investment for the future, to help move our economies onto a path of sustainable economic growth and well-being.
The OECD @ 50 strives to improve the prospects of growth and welfare in Member and partner countries, encourages civic participation and equality of opportunities, and seeks to realign the economy with the environment, said Angel Gurría.
Sustaining economic growth is certainly important to promote social cohesion but growth alone cannot solve all problems. Instead, well-targeted social policies are essential to promote social cohesion and reverse the upward trend in income inequality. This is the “go social” challenge facing Korea, said OECD Secretary-General in Seoul.