End Austerity: A Global Report on Budget Cuts and Harmful Social Reforms in 2022-25
Working Paper ##0
This global report alerts of the dangers of a post-pandemic austerity shock, far more premature and severe than the one that followed the global financial crisis. Instead of harmful austerity measures (or “fiscal consolidation”), governments must urgently identify alternative financing options to support their populations that are coping with multiple and compounding crises − from health, energy, finance and climate shocks to unaffordable living costs. The report: (i) presents the incidence of budget cuts based on IMF projections in 189 countries until 2025; (ii) reviews the latest 267 IMF country reports to identify the main austerity measures being considered by Ministries of Finance and the IMF in each country; and (iii) presents alternative financing options, ultimately calling on countries to end austerity by creating fiscal space to finance a people’s recovery and progress toward human rights and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
About the Authors
Global Social Justice Program Director
Initiative for Policy Dialogue
Isabel Ortiz is director of the Global Social Justice Program at Joseph Stiglitz’s Initiative for Policy Dialogue, Columbia University, New York. Earlier she was director at the International Labor Organization (ILO Geneva, 2013-19) and at UNICEF (New York, 2009-12); senior official at the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs (UN New York, 2005-09) and at the Asian Development Bank (ADB Manila, 1995-2003), where she was a founding member of the ADB Poverty Reduction Unit. In 1993-95 she was a researcher at the Department of International Economics of the High-Level Council of Scientific Research (CSIC Madrid) and a lecturer at Madrid and Salamanca Universities in Spain. In 1992-93 she worked at the European Commission in Brussels and in 1991 at the UN Economic Commission for Latin America (ECLAC Buenos Aires). Isabel Ortiz has worked in more than 50 countries in all world regions, providing advisory services to governments and engaging in high level initiatives at the United Nations, G20, BRICS, African Union and UNASUR, among others. Additionally, she actively supports policy advocacy work of civil society organizations. She has a MSc and a Ph.D. from the London School of Economics, and has written more than 80 publications translated in several languages.
Social Policy and Economic Specialist
Matthew Cummins leads research and is an advisor on real-time monitoring, fiscal space and social budgeting issues, as well as on designing policies to protect children and poor households from the impacts of macroeconomic shocks. He has worked on social policy issues for more than ten years with the Inter-American Development Bank, United Nations Development Programme, U.S. Peace Corps and the World Bank. He holds a MA in International Economics from Johns Hopkins SAIS and has published widely in international development books and journals.