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OECD countries face daunting fiscal challenges following the substantial surge in debt-GDP ratios during the past four years, from already high levels in many cases.
The global economic and financial crisis exacerbated the need for fiscal consolidation in many OECD countries.
During the economic and financial crisis, fiscal positions across the OECD countries deteriorated sharply. This raises the question of what level of primary deficit would ensure long-term sustainability and what degree of consolidation is needed.
Poverty is an important policy issue in OECD countries and the recent crisis has made it even more pressing. This paper highlights poverty rate differences across countries and reviews the various policies to tackle it.
The economic and financial crisis was the catalyst for a fiscal crisis that engulfs many OECD countries. In most countries, budget deficits soared as a result of the economic slump, weaker revenues and the policy response to the crisis.
The differential between the interest rate paid to service government debt and the growth rate of the economy is a key concept in assessing fiscal sustainability.
The Czech fiscal position is generally sound and policy making is prudent. However, the fiscal framework was not strong enough to contain spending in the upturn and it would benefit from independent budget oversight.
The management of government debt and assets has important implications for fiscal positions.
Ireland’s banking crisis, one of the most severe in the OECD area, and the associated economic recession have taken a heavy toll on public finances.
Substantial fiscal consolidation was achieved under the aegis of the 2003 Fiscal Responsibility and Budget Management Act.