Open proposals of the economics working group (sol camp – 15m)
This document presents the proposals and lines of action that, to date (15 June 2011) have been discussed and agreed by the Sol Camp Economics Working Group.
From the start, this working group has been divided into six subgroups with specific areas of work:
- Economic Policy
- Financial Systems
- Global Economic Relations
Both the subgroups and the Economics group have operated via assemblies held in the street (in the Plaza del Carmen) with the participation of anyone who has wanted to take part. These assemblies have been announced in the zones earmarked for this purpose at the Sol Camp, as well as on the movement’s internet platforms, to ensure as many people as possible are aware of them and can get involved.
These assemblies have debated a range of issues related to economics, focusing on the priorities presented by the people taking part, as well as the proposals gathered from the mailboxes in the Sol Camp. Educational workshops and activities have also been held to exchange information and documentation, with the aim of ensuring the debates have a substantial theoretical base on which discourse and proposals can be built, applying criteria of knowledge and consistency.
As a result of these debates, a series of proposals has been adopted, which have been approved with the consensus of all participants. The aim of this procedure has been to achieve inclusive proposals that address the concerns, demands, needs and wishes of all those involved in their production.
The proposals presented in this document have been agreed, firstly, by each working subgroup and have then been debated and agreed again by the General Assembly of the Economics Group.
In addition to the proposals presented here, there are also a number of arguments which attempt to explain the reasons behind these proposals, offering information on the key aspects taken into account in each case. Each working subgroup has been responsible for drawing up these arguments, without any debate being held or consensus on their content within the Economics Assembly.
In addition to these proposals and arguments, there is also an annex with other debates and proposals that each subgroup has been working on but which, to date, have not been sufficiently developed or where no consensus has been reached.
We at the Economics Group of the Sol Camp are aware that these proposals only represent those of us who have produced and agreed them. We do not posit they are the proposals of the movement or of citizens in general, as we have not professed the right to speak on behalf of anyone. These proposals and their arguments aim to be a tool to help other people, groups, assemblies, movements or organisations as a document for information purposes and debate; a document which, in turn, helps us to gather new opinions and proposals that enhance our work. We therefore define these proposals as “open” as we believe that the process involved in their construction has not ended; we believe they must be subject to greater debate and development.
On the other hand, the short history of this movement and the diversity and number of issues to be addressed mean that this document is incomplete and cannot be exhaustive. The Economics Group and its subgroups have not covered a large number of issues that are of supreme importance. Based on this belief, the Economics Group proposes to continue its work indefinitely, continuing to deal with all issues related to economics that affect people’s lives to a greater or lesser degree, at a local and also a state and global level.
We expressly invite all people, collectives, groups, assemblies, movements and organisations who wish to do so to send us their comments, reflections, debates and proposals related to these or other issues in order to augment and enrich the work carried out by this working group, as well as to take an active part in the assemblies held regularly in Madrid.
(Information and contacts at http://madrid.tomalaplaza.net/)
1) Agreed open proposals
1. Constructing a new framework of labour relations democratically agreed by the population.
We choose to construct a new framework of labour relations democratically agreed by the population. Meanwhile, we demand that those aspects of the latest labour and pension reforms that entail greater insecurity, a reduction in employment rights or a deterioration in the pension system be derogated.
2. Effectively reducing the work day and working life
Effective reduction of the work day and working life until all the population’s employment needs are met as an effective measure to redistribute wealth and all work; as well as compliance with labour rights in their entirety.
3.Raising the minimum wage and regulating wage ceilings.
Increase in the minimum wage, to put it on an equal footing with Europe and in real alignment with living conditions (price of housing, food, transport, etc.), improving purchasing power. Regulation of wage ceilings and non-salary income.
4. Acceptance in lieu to release families living under precarious conditions from their mortgage debt and immediate stay of evictions.
Reform of the Mortgage Act and the Civil Proceedings Act, establishing:
Acceptance in lieu to release people from their mortgage debt. Until this point is approved, the immediate stay of evictions of people living under precarious conditions.
An independent public appraiser.
A maximum limit of 20 years for repayment of mortgages, never exceeding 60% of the appraisal value.
5. Creation of public housing to be rented out to people in need.
Creation of public housing to be rented out, making use of the stock of empty properties. An independent public body will catalogue and survey the empty properties for their subsequent use, depending on the income and situation of each person.
6. Banning of redundancy plans in profitable companies.
In profitable companies (particularly multinationals making millions in profit), both in cases of reducing/suspending work time as well as in dismissals; these companies should cover the cost of the unemployment benefit, releasing the state from this burden.
Also, in the case of mass redundancies, the reduction of severance pay to be received by the workers is unacceptable.
7. Increasing tax revenue by enhancing the progressive nature of the tax system and effectively combating fraud.
Increase the brackets and maximum rates for personal income tax.
Enhance the progressive nature of taxation on capital gains.
Gradual reduction in indirect taxes (such as VAT) to achieve goals of fiscal equity.
Agreed elimination of UCITS in Europe and, as a short-term measure, tougher conditions for their taxation.
Return to inheritance and gift tax, with an exempt tranche.
Extension of measures/budgets to pursue tax fraud, as well as implementing laws for the entire fraud prevention system.
8. Holding a binding referendum on any bailout, adjustment measure or cutback imposed by international bodies.
The crisis should be paid for by those who have created it. Holding a binding referendum for the options for any bank bailout, measure or cutback imposed by bodies such as the International Monetary Fund, the European Central Bank or the European Commission that affects the country’s sovereignty.
9. Immediate stoppage of the plundering and privatisation of savings banks, reinforcing a public financial system under social control.
Immediate stoppage of the plundering and privatisation of savings banks, using these to reinforce a public financial system under social control, together with the Official Credit Institute (ICO in Spanish) and with any entity that has been bailed out using public funds.
10. Democratic, transparent control of public and private banking activities.
Subordinating financial power to democratic power; democratic, transparent control of public and private banking activities:
Separation of investment and speculation.
Demanding criminal and asset-based liability for financial managers, ratings agencies and institutions, such as the Bank of Spain, the European Central Bank and the International Monetary Fund.
11. European institutions must be subject to the democratic control of citizens of the european union.
European institutions must be governed by democratic principles. Fiscal and monetary policies must be coordinated and aimed at maintaining and strengthening the welfare state and at the sustainable development of all countries.
12. Abolishing tax havens.
Pursuing Spanish capital flight via penalties imposed on any firm operating in a tax haven.
13. Taxing financial transactions to penalise speculation.
Imposing taxes on and limiting speculative movements, promoting a production-based economy and combating tax fraud.
14. Public administrations complying with the prompt payment act.
Compliance of Act 15/2010, of 5 July (on combating late payment in commercial operations, amending Act 3/2004, of 29 December), on the part of the government and the rest of the public administrations, thereby avoiding the ruin and closure of many small and medium-sized enterprises.
15. Re-establishing public banking.
The government is required to put in place the necessary mechanisms to eliminate mediation by private banks in the financing of small and medium-sized enterprises through the only possible channel: the re-establishment of public banking.
16. Equal rights for workers.
The government is required to carry out the necessary legislative reforms to guarantee true equality of rights and obligations among all workers, irrespective of whether they are employed or self-employed and without this reducing the rights of either group.
17. Implementing social balance in companies.
The government is required to produce a comprehensive plan aimed at encouraging the implementation of social balance in companies as a means to foment responsible activity and improve companies’ operational models.
18. Moratorium on the payment of foreign debt owed by other countries to the state of spain until a comprehensive audit has been carried out by independent experts and social agents.
Establish a moratorium on the payment of the foreign debt (bilateral or multilateral) owed by other countries to the state of Spain until a comprehensive audit has been carried out (including economic, social and environmental aspects), with the participation of social agents and independent experts, that can determine the debt’s legitimacy or lack thereof. Should a debt be declared unlawful, its payment shall be cancelled and civil or penal liabilities shall be demanded, both of the debtors and the creditors.
19. Moratorium on the payment of the foreign public debt of the state of spain until a comprehensive audit has been carried out by independent experts and social agents.
Establish a moratorium on the payment of the public foreign debt of the state of Spain until a comprehensive audit has been carried out (including economic, social and environmental aspects), with the participation of social agents and independent experts, that can determine the debt’s legitimacy or lack thereof. Should a debt be declared unlawful, its payment shall be cancelled and civil or penal liabilities shall be demanded, both of the debtors and the creditors.
20. Transnational firms of spanish ownership or capital complying with legislation that provides greater guarantees in the area of rights.
We demand that transnational firms of Spanish ownership or capital must comply, at all times, with legislation that guarantees, to a greater extent, the respect for human, social, labour, environmental and economic rights and those of peoples in the countries where these firms operate (be it the law of Spain, that of the destination country or of a supranational level). Violation of these rights overseas by Spanish firms must be included as a criminal offence in the Spanish Penal Code so that such breaches can be penalised and liability demanded.
21. Implementing global taxes aimed at gradually redistributing resources at a worldwide level.
We demand the implementation of global taxes aimed at generating a system to redistribute wealth at a worldwide level. The aim of these taxes is to preserve the global public assets that affect all citizens of the planet. We particularly draw attention to the tax on international financial transactions whose aim is to promote stability, penalising speculation, as well as taxes on activities that affect the environment and preserve biodiversity. The revenue from these taxes must be allocated to states in such a way as to gradually redistribute world wealth.
22. Compliance of the historical commitment to donate 0.7% of gdp to development aid.
As a temporary measure, until a fairer global system is achieved, the financing of aid between countries can be a way of offsetting the historical debt owed. We therefore require that all Spanish administrations (state, autonomous community and municipal) include budget items in compliance with the historical commitment to donate 0.7% of GDP to such ends.