On April 2, the leaders of the world’s richest economies meet in London for the G20 summit, to discuss their response to the current economic crisis.

Put People First is a coalition of development charities, trade unions, faith groups, environmentalists and other organisations, formed in response to call for a fair, sustainable route out of recession.

Decisions made in unnaccountable financial institutions are hurting the poor in the UK, and have been hurting the world’s poor and the environment for many years.

Already policy makers are speaking of the systemic failure of the current financial architecture and the need for regulation. It is time that those worst affected by decisions have a say in making them, rather than the status quo, in which the few make decisions to the detriment of the many.

What are we calling for?

The platform is united by three linked calls: Decent jobs and public services for all, end poverty and inequality, build a green economy. More specific demands on the UK government are to:

  • Create a ‘Green New Deal’ to create jobs in the environmental sector
  • Invest in essential services including social housing
  • Provide emergency funding to countries that need it to protect jobs and provide social protection
  • Tackle tax havens – especially those linked to the UK
  • Insist on democratic reform of the World Bank and IMF
  • Make all financial institutions and multinational corporations transparent and accountable
  • Ensure that poorer states are allowed to take responsibility for managing their own economies rather than having liberalisation measures forced upon them
  • Introduce robust regulatory requirements and financial incentives at national level and push for them at international level to stop climate chaos
  • Commit to substantial new resource transfer from North to South to support low carbon development

Unfortunately, examination of proposed government solutions to date are either piecemeal, or advocate yet more ‘free’ trade policies, likely to only to make the crisis worse.

What are we doing?

Put People First are organising a major national march and rally in London on 28 March, ahead of the London G20 Summit, which aims to:

  1. Expose the undemocratic governance of the world’s most powerful economic institutions – the World Bank, IMF, central banks, and forums such as the G8 and G20.
  2. Challenge the misguided belief in unregulated ‘free’ markets which has led to the current crisis and show that there are effective alternatives.
  3. Turn world leader’s overtures about the need for change in the economic system in to concrete actions to benefit people and the environment.