A large proportion of revenue gains over the last two decades has come from countries’ efforts to improve the design and compliance of consumption and other indirect taxes, particularly the VAT (value-added tax); in doing so, the objective has been to minimize VAT’s regressive effects by exempting sales of small businesses below a threshold (where the poor typically tend to buy) as well as imposing zero tax on certain food and other products which take up a large proportion of consumption of poor households. Less attention has gone to expanding the coverage of potentially more progressive taxes, such as personal income and property taxes.
CGD Policy Blogs
Anyone who follows this blog knows I’m a big fan of the US electrification initiative Power Africa because of its national security, economic, and developmental benefits.
The UK Labour Party recently set out its ideas on international development in a paper titled “A World for the Many, Not the Few.” There is much to like in the policy paper, including pledges to put in place an effective whole-of-government development approach, to advance DFID’s monitoring of whether aid reaches the most vulnerable and excluded, and to communicate more honestly with UK taxpayers about the successes, challenges, and complexities of development.
Not only is the Trump administration supporting a $7.5 billion capital increase for the IBRD (and at that, one that is 50 percent larger than the capital increase supported by the Obama administration in 2010), it has also signed on to a policy framework for the new money that makes a good deal of sense.
New results from a famous experiment in Kenya have sparked heated debate over whether lump-sum cash transfers have any long-term benefits for those who get them, or even do harm to neighbors who don’t.
When the world’s finance ministers and central bank governors assemble in Washington later this month. they would do well to focus on another looming debt crisis that could hit some of the poorest countries in the world, many of whom are also struggling with problems of conflict and fragility and none of which has the institutional capacity to cope with a major debt crisis without lasting damage to their already-challenged development prospects.
Africa’s energy deficits are well known. But it’s very rare to hear policymakers talk openly about nuclear power on the continent.
This year’s IMF/World Bank Spring Meetings are just around the corner. In a rapidly changing development landscape, this year’s events at the Center for Global Development will focus on innovative and proactive approaches to addressing tomorrow’s development challenges today. We invite you to join us in conversation with finance ministers, top multilateral development bank and humanitarian agency officials, and global development thought leaders for discussions on topics ranging from migration to technology to education to development finance, and much more.