To be checked against delivery
Speech by Katja Lehto-Komulainen, ETUC Deputy General Secretary, at the Tripartite Social Summit
Brussels, 21 March 2018
Dear Minister, Your Excellencies, Ladies and Gentlemen,
The economy is recovering, indeed, but slowly, and major problems remain, especially in the ability of labour markets to provide enough high-quality employment to go around. The total hours worked in the EU are still below pre-crisis levels, and the average hours worked per employee are well below.
Job quality is decreasing in many areas, public investment is still falling, inequality is increasing, in-work poverty is up and wages are lagging behind productivity developments.
A clear commitment to building economies rich in quality jobs is lacking as there is not even clear agreement on what quality jobs are.
We in the ETUC have adopted our definition of quality jobs and stand ready to work together with the Commission and with social partners to put in place the policies needed to bring quality jobs into being.
It is high time to relaunch domestic aggregate demand with pay rises for all workers and renewed public investment programmes as the right stimulus package.
Strong automatic stabilisers, good public services and sound levels of public investment are needed, and require progressive levels of personal taxation, increases in corporate tax rates, and reinforcing the fight against tax avoidance.
We welcome the recent amendments adopted by the European Parliament on Corporate Tax Bases and we encourage the Council to decide accordingly. We are in favour of the Commission´s proposal today for a minimum level tax on digital companies.
Finally, we emphasise that the EU must encourage solid labour market institutions promoting collective bargaining at the highest levels.