PACE today expressed its concern over income inequality – which has been steadily rising across Europe and throughout the world – and its effects on social cohesion, economic development and the functioning of democratic institutions and processes, pointing out that “the richest 1% has now accumulated more wealth than the rest of the world put together”.
In a resolution adopted on the basis of the report by Andrej Hunko (Germany, UEL), the Assembly called on member States “to make the fight against income inequality a political priority” and to develop comprehensive and effective national strategies. As regards employment policies, parliamentarians recommended providing employees with “more stable professional perspectives”, investing in training programmes and continuous training, increasing levels of female participation in the labour market and introducing “a sufficiently high minimum wage”.
As regards tax policies, PACE called on member States to make taxation systems more progressive, in particular “by increasing the tax rates for higher incomes” while significantly lowering pressure on “at risk of poverty” groups. Taxation on wealth, capital gains and inheritance also needs to be reviewed, according to the adopted text. Lastly, referring to the role of collective bargaining institutions, the Assembly advocated strengthening social dialogue as a means of fighting income inequalities.