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Agbar Foundation / News / Guillem López Casasnovas: "The welfare state will be sustainable with work and a redefinition of the intergenerational balance"

22 October 2014

Guillem López Casasnovas: "The welfare state will be sustainable with work and a redefinition of the intergenerational balance"

In the talk, entitled "Economic intelligence, income growth and the welfare of people", Guillem López said that it was necessary to recover intergenerational justice in order to guarantee the welfare of society: "The balance between the elderly and the young has been broken in relation to the distribution of wealth. Before, the wealth generated by young people was redistributed effectively toward the elderly, but the increase in the elderly population and the high youth unemployment rate, above 50%, has broken this reality". In this respect, he warned that "in the near future pensions will represent 68% of social expenditure".

For the economist, the welfare state will be sustainable with employment and support for work: "we must move from welfare to workfare or subsidies conditional on activity generating income". For this reason, he said we must create incentives for access to the labour market in order to combat unemployment and undeclared work.

With the aim of improving the efficiency of public services, López Casasnovas indicated that, in a context of lack of an evaluation culture, or of scarce training in public management for the prioritization of policies, better training in public management is necessary, together with the end of the segmentation of public policies.

Moreover, faced with the possibility of a new recession in Europe, the economist considers that it is necessary "to reduce the tax pressure in order to give the taxpayer more money and reactivate private consumption, without touching expenditure". "The current trend favours indirect taxes, which should oblige states to propose redistributive public policies which take this into account and offset it", he indicated.

Angel Simón, Agbar’s Executive Chairman, presented the speaker, stressing his experience with the optimization and efficiency of public services, the financing of local tax authorities, health economics and the health system, fiscal balances, and intergenerational balance.

After the talk, which could be followed on the social networks, Ciril Rozman, Director of Agbar in America, moderated a debate marked by the role of the Bank of Spain in the face of the bankruptcy of the Spanish savings banks, the economic viability of a hypothetical independent Catalonia, and the situation of the Catalan healthcare system.

You can find full information about this talk and the rest of the Water Circle’s activities on the website www.cercledelaigua.cat and on the Twitter account @cercledelaigua.

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