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S&Ds pressure member states to raise wages and boost public investment


Social Europe & Jobs
The Socialists and Democrats today received the backing of the European Parliament for their call for wage increases, boosts in public investment and combatting inequalities. The 2018 European Semester has to be the opportunity to apply an economic policy which ensures growth, investment and full employment.
Hugues Bayet, S&D MEP and author of a parliamentary report on the European Semester 2018, said:
“With today’s vote the European Parliament urges member states, ahead of the spring summit, to push for wage increases, boost public investment and combat inequalities to ensure growth and full employment.
“Real wage growth has lagged behind productivity growth and now it is high time for wages to finally catch up. Increasing the buying power is one of the most efficient ways to stimulate the economy.
“High-quality public infrastructure is one of the drivers of competitiveness in Europe, yet the EU is in danger of losing the upper hand due to lack of investment. Only with sufficient investment will the EU manage the transition to a sustainable economy and a fairer society.
“For the first time, Parliament has backed what the Socialists have been saying all along: inequalities hamper growth. We hope that the Commission and member states will now open their eyes to this truth, too, and forcefully combat the growing inequalities in our societies.”
Javi Lopez, S&D MEP and responsible for the European Semester 2018 in the employment committee, added:
“Austerity policies have dramatically increased inequality, poverty and in-work poverty across the European Union. Ten years after the start of the crisis, it is high time for an economic policy which puts wage increases, quality employment, poverty reduction, social protection and quality public services at its heart. However, the social dimension of the European Semester remains utterly unambitious as the conservatives keep blocking much needed social improvements for the people in Europe. The Socialists and Democrats will continue to fight for a socially progressive economic policy that combats inequality through political action.”
Note to the editor:
The Annual Growth Survey is the first step of the European Semester and aims at strengthening the sustainable economic development and social convergence by identifying the priorities for the Union and its member states for the year ahead. The reports voted today are part of the Parliament’s contribution to the European Semester exercise.


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