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International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.

Abstract

Countries have made ample use of fiscal measures to protect lives and livelihoods against the health and economic fallout from the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic and to nurture the nascent reopening of economies in a highly uncertain environment. The drastic fiscal measures taken so far have been necessary, state-dependent, diverse, and costly. In general, these fiscal measures have mitigated the negative effects of the pandemic on health and economic outcomes. Although public debt levels are at record highs, further support is necessary to protect people who cannot make a living under the current circumstances and to promote a strong recovery. Fiscal policy should be tailored to different phases of the pandemic, adapting to evolving needs to protect people, support demand, facilitate the transformation to the post-pandemic economy, and ensure debt sustainability.

International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.

Abstract

This report overviews countries fiscal actions in response to COVID-19 and discusses how governments policies should adapt to get ahead of the pandemic and set the stage for a greener, fairer, and more durable recovery. Global vaccination should be scaled up as it can save lives and will eventually pay for itself with stronger employment and economic activity. Until the pandemic is brought under control globally, fiscal policies must remain flexible and supportive, while keeping debt at a manageable level over the long term. Governments also need to adopt comprehensive policies, embedded in medium-term frameworks, to tackle inequalities—especially in access to basic public services—that were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and may cause income gaps to persist. Investing in education, healthcare and early childhood development and strengthening social safety nets financed through improved tax capacity and higher progressivity, can strengthen lifetime opportunities, improve trust, and contribute to more social cohesion.

International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.

Abstract

This report overviews countries fiscal actions in response to COVID-19 and discusses how governments policies should adapt to get ahead of the pandemic and set the stage for a greener, fairer, and more durable recovery. Global vaccination should be scaled up as it can save lives and will eventually pay for itself with stronger employment and economic activity. Until the pandemic is brought under control globally, fiscal policies must remain flexible and supportive, while keeping debt at a manageable level over the long term. Governments also need to adopt comprehensive policies, embedded in medium-term frameworks, to tackle inequalities—especially in access to basic public services—that were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and may cause income gaps to persist. Investing in education, healthcare and early childhood development and strengthening social safety nets financed through improved tax capacity and higher progressivity, can strengthen lifetime opportunities, improve trust, and contribute to more social cohesion.

International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.

Abstract

The immediate focus of governments during the COVID-19 crisis thus far has appropriately been to address the health emergency and provide lifelines for vulnerable households and businesses. Governments now also need to prepare economies for safe and successful reopening, foster recovery in employment and economic activity, and facilitate transformation to a post-pandemic economy that, with the right policies, can be more resilient, more inclusive, and greener. Public investment can make a crucial contribution toward these goals (see a discussion of the fiscal strategy for the recovery in Chapter 1 and Table 2.1).1 This chapter outlines how governments can undertake public investment in a timely manner while safeguarding quality, estimates the potential for public investment to create jobs and boost growth, and sets out priorities for the types of investment that will strengthen resilience and sustainability.

International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.

Abstract

This report overviews countries fiscal actions in response to COVID-19 and discusses how governments policies should adapt to get ahead of the pandemic and set the stage for a greener, fairer, and more durable recovery. Global vaccination should be scaled up as it can save lives and will eventually pay for itself with stronger employment and economic activity. Until the pandemic is brought under control globally, fiscal policies must remain flexible and supportive, while keeping debt at a manageable level over the long term. Governments also need to adopt comprehensive policies, embedded in medium-term frameworks, to tackle inequalities—especially in access to basic public services—that were exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic and may cause income gaps to persist. Investing in education, healthcare and early childhood development and strengthening social safety nets financed through improved tax capacity and higher progressivity, can strengthen lifetime opportunities, improve trust, and contribute to more social cohesion.

International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.

Abstract

Chapter 1 of the report draws some early lessons from governments’ fiscal responses to the pandemic and provides a roadmap for the recovery. Governments’ measures to cushion the blow from the pandemic total a staggering $12 trillion globally. These lifelines and the worldwide recession have pushed global public debt to an all-time high. But governments should not withdraw lifelines too rapidly. Government support should shift gradually from protecting old jobs to getting people back to work and helping viable but still-vulnerable firms safely reopen. The fiscal measures for the recovery are an opportunity to make the economy more inclusive and greener. Chapter 2 of this report argues that governments need to scale up public investment to ensure successful reopening, boost growth, and prepare economies for the future. Low interest rates make borrowing to invest desirable. Countries that cannot access finance will, however, need to do more with less. The chapter explains how investment can be scaled up while preserving quality. Increasing public investment by 1 percent of GDP in advanced and emerging economies could create 7 million jobs directly, and more than 20 million jobs indirectly. Investments in healthcare, housing, digitalization, and the environment would lay the foundations for a more resilient and inclusive economy.