Joe Hockey has laid out a plan for the G20 later this year to commit to specific economic growth targets.
Joe Hockey has laid out a plan for the G20 later this year to commit to specific economic growth targets. AP Photo - Rob Griffith

Leaders push for equality at G20 meetings

COMMUNITY leaders from across the G20 will use their first-ever address to the group's finance ministers to push for pledges to address inequality, not just economic growth, on Saturday.

As part of a series of meetings of the G20 Finance Ministers in Cairns this week, the "Civil Society 20" (C20), will urge the group's financial leaders "to ensure the benefits of growth are shared".

While Treasurer Joe Hockey has laid out a plan for the G20 later this year to commit to specific economic growth targets, C20 chairman Tim Costello said it must not be "growth for its own sake".

Ahead of an address to the meeting on Saturday, Mr Costello said growth targets must not only benefit wealthy people, but it should ensure "that the most vulnerable in our society do not get left behind".

"These are core points the C20 will be making to the G20 finance ministers as we push for greater equity within nations and between nations," he said.

His comments come during a lengthy domestic debate in Australia over the Abbott government's budget agenda, after Treasury modelling released earlier this year confirmed the budget hit poorer Australians harder than wealthier people.

C20 deputy chairwoman Dr Cassandra Goldie said that while growth must be "jobs rich", economic targets to increase employment across the G20 nations should ensure such jobs came with "social and legal protections".

The civil group will also push for the G20 to ensure Mr Hockey's plans for a crackdown on international tax and profit-shifting are matched by better transparency for developing nations, as well as G20 members.

- APN NEWSDESK



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