Eastwood: G7 economies must maintain pandemic spending to tackle inequality crisis

Social Democratic and Labour Party Leader Colum Eastwood MP has said that G7 economies must continue spending at pandemic levels to secure a just recovery from the Covid-19 crisis and begin to address the challenges of endemic inequality and the climate crisis.

Speaking ahead of the G7 summit in Cornwall this weekend, the Foyle MP called on governments to commit to eradicating poverty and inequality with the same sense of urgency that has commanded attention during the global pandemic.

Colum Eastwood MP said:

“Developed economies across the world have demonstrated extreme fiscal flexibility when it has come to responding to the Covid-19 crisis. The scale of the challenge posed by the pandemic has shattered old orthodoxies and shown what is possible when governments step outside the rigidity of normal spending patterns. 

“We’re now seeing the early stages of a public health recovery from the pandemic as vaccination rollouts progress, deaths fall and the pressure on intensive care services begin to ease. The natural instinct of governments, and their treasuries, will be to return to normal spending patterns, reduce stimulus and withdraw the unprecedented economic support that has been a lifeline to key sectors, businesses and people in need. That would be a huge mistake. 

“In this moment we need to maintain spending levels to generate momentum into the economic recovery period and beyond the current crisis. This is a moment to fundamentally change the shape of our economies and prioritise transformation at the scale needed to address the climate crisis and the endemic inequalities that people here, and across the world face. We have worked creatively and collaboratively to wage war on this virus, it is now time that we worked together to wage war on poverty, want and need in our society. The G7 economies must lead that effort by showing courage and resisting the instinct to withdraw support.”

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