November 2019

Social Protection OUTLOOK - November 2019


New ILO/UNWOMEN Tool: Fiscal Space for Social Protection. A Handbook for Assessing Financing Options, Isabel Ortiz; Anis Chowdhury; Fabio Durán Valverde; Taneem Muzaffar and Stefan Urban

This practical handbook is an essential companion to assess financing options to extend social protection coverage and benefits. It is often argued that universal social protection systems, including floors, are not affordable and that there is insufficient budget to cover all children, women and men. This handbook demonstrates that there are alternatives even in the poorest countries. These include eight options: (1) expanding social security coverage and contributory revenues; (2) increasing tax revenues; (3) eliminating illicit financial flows; (4) re-allocating public expenditures; (5) using fiscal and central bank foreign exchange reserves; (6) borrowing and restruc¬turing existing debt; (7) adopting a more accommodating macroeconomic framework; and (8) increasing aid and transfers.

All of the financing options described in this handbook are supported by policy statements of the United Nations and international financial institutions – and governments around the world have been applying them for decades, showing a wide variety of revenue choices. National dialogue, with government, employers and workers as well as civil society, academics, UN agencies and others, is fundamental to generate political will to exploit all possible fiscal space options in a country, and adopt the optimal mix of public policies for inclusive growth with jobs and social protection.

Last notice to register to the ILO Global Social Protection Week: Achieving SDG 1.3 and Universal Social Protection in the context of the Future of Work.