Taxation, fiscal space and resource mobilization
Responding to the social protection needs of the population requires a sufficient level of resources. Most of these resources have to be raised at the national level, ensuring sustainability, equity and solidarity in financing, and good governance. National tax systems are one important source of financing, particularly with regard to a sufficiently broad and progressive revenue base, taking into account different types of taxes. Other possible options to expand fiscal space for social protection include the reprioritization of public expenditure, earmarking revenues from natural resources, as well as international cooperation and support in the case of countries with insufficient economic and fiscal capacities.
While different strategies can be sought to raise the necessary resources for social protection, such as the re-prioritization expenditures, increases in the tax base, improvements in the collection of revenues etc., the creation of the necessary fiscal space in the government budget to finance social protection benefits ultimately depends on the political will do commit the necessary resources. For tax-financed provisions, the tax base has to be sufficiently progressive; otherwise the objectives of the social protection system are undermined by the tax burden placed on the poor and vulnerable population groups. Similarly, contributory schemes need to take the contributory capacity of persons covered into account. The financial sustainability of the social protection system also greatly depends on the government’s ability to enforce existing tax and contribution obligations. Financial sustainability also requires that provisions are made for the system to be able to respond to shocks or crises.
Photo credit: “Bamboo” by Phil Dokas (CCBY 2.0 via Flickr).
The Case for a Progressive Tax: From Basic Research to Policy Recommendations
This paper presents the case for tax progressivity based on recent results in optimal tax theory. We consider the optimal progressivity of earnings taxation and whether capital income should be taxed. We critically discuss the academic research on these topics and when and how the results can be used for policy recommendations. We argue that […]
Tax on Large Fortunes: the recent international debate and the situation in Brazil
Many discussions have taken place in Brazil about legislation pertaining to the Tax on Large Fortunes (Imposto sobre Grandes Fortunas—IGF). In the current scenario, with the country facing a second consecutive annual decrease in tax revenue, the subject of the implementation of the IGF is gaining some traction, with its proponents vehemently arguing that it […]
Redistributing Unpaid Care Work – Why Tax Matters for Women’s Rights
Globally, women perform the great majority of unpaid care work. This unjust distribution of labour has profound impacts on women’s human rights and is both a product and a driver of gender inequality. Despite the obligations of the State to ensure economic policies are non-discriminatory and prioritize human rights, today regressive tax policies and underfunded […]
The website makes the first comprehensive and transparent database of IMF-mandated policy reforms freely available to interested researchers and civil society organizations. The database systematizes the 58,406 conditions applicable to IMF programmes over the 1980-2014 period. The data was extracted from countries’ loan agreements with the IMF. This resource enables nuanced explanations of the economic, social […]
Brazilian Fiscal Policy in Perspective: from expansion to austerity
This paper analyses the changes in orientation and composition of Brazilian fiscal policy, focusing on three recent periods and seeking to explore their relationship with economic performance. The first period (2005–2010) was characterised by fiscal expansion, with public investment and redistributive transfers as its main drivers. Economic performance was extraordinary. During the second period of […]
Playing with Fire: deepened financial integration and changing vulnerabilities of the Global South
From the early 1990s many emerging and developing economies (EDEs) liberalized their capital accounts, allowing greater freedom for international lenders and investors to enter their markets, as well as for their residents to operate in international financial markets. Despite recurrent crises, liberalization has accelerated in the new millennium. Global financial integration of EDEs has been […]
A Political Economy Analysis of Domestic Resource Mobilization in Uganda
This synthesis paper brings together the research findings from four papers prepared by the Uganda team as a part of the UNRISD Politics of Domestic Resource Mobilization for Social Development project, which addresses three broad themes: bargaining and contestation, key relations, and institution building with regard to mobilizing resources for social development. In the paper […]