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Mr. Benedict J. Clements, Mr. Juan Toro R., and Ms. Victoria J Perry
This paper identifies policy tools that could be used for fiscal consolidation in advanced and emerging economies in the years ahead. The consolidation strategy, particularly in advanced countries, should aim to stabilize age-related spending in relation to GDP, reduce non-age-related expenditure ratios, and increase revenues. Bold reforms are needed to offset projected increases in age-related spending, particularly health care. On the revenue side, measures could include improving tax compliance, for example through better international cooperation, as well as increasing the yield from VAT by eliminating exemptions and reduced rates, further developing property taxes, and increasing excise rates within the range of rates already applicable in comparable countries.
Mr. Jon Strand and Mr. Michael Keen
This paper examines the case for internationally coordinated indirect taxes on aviation (as a source of general revenue-not (necessarily) as a source of development finance). The case for such taxes is strong: the tax burden on international aviation is currently limited, yet it contributes significantly to border-crossing environmental damage. A tax on aviation fuel would address the key border-crossing externalities most directly; a ticket tax could raise more revenue; departure taxes face the least legal obstacles. Optimal policy requires deploying both fuel and ticket taxes. A fuel tax of 20 U.S. cents per gallon (10 percent, at today's fuel prices, corresponding to assessed environmental damage), or alternatively ticket taxes of 2.5 percent, would raise about US$10 billion if imposed worldwide, and US$3 billion if applied only in Europe.
Mr. Riccardo Fiorito
The stylized facts of government finance in the Group of Seven (G-7) industrial countries show that revenues lag real GDP procyclically, while government spending in most cases fails to lead the economy procyclically. This finding is not confined to transfers but also applies to the wage component of government consumption as well as, in most cases, to government fixed investment. Government deficits are always countercyclical but there is little evidence that stabilization is equally successful in stimulating the economy before shocks materialize.
Mr. Leonardo Bartolini, Mr. Steven A. Symansky, and Assaf Razin
This paper studies the fiscal restructuring of the first half of the 1990s in the major industrial countries. It presents and calibrates a simple model of the labor market and integrates it into a multi-country macroeconomic model that takes into account the effects of distortionary taxes. It then uses the resulting framework to simulate the effects of recent and prospective changes in fiscal policies in the group of seven major industrial countries. The analysis suggests that in the long run the impact on output is likely to be positive in those countries that relied relatively more on expenditure cuts or indirect tax increases (such as Canada, France, Japan, and the United Kingdom), while the effect of the fiscal restructuring on output is estimated to be negative in those countries that relied primarily on labor and capital taxes (Germany, Italy, and the United States).
International Monetary Fund
This review marks the 10th anniversary of the safeguards policy. Introduced in March 2000, the policy’s main objective is to mitigate potential risks of misuse of resources, including Fund resources, and misreporting of monetary program data. The policy was last reviewed in 2005, when the Executive Board re-affirmed the effectiveness of the policy, and its application to central banks. In keeping with previous reviews, a panel of experts was invited to provide advice for the Executive Board on the implementation of the policy, and recommendations to guide the focus and application of the policy going forward.