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The high public debt and a large pension burden heighten the urgency to improve the efficiency of the public sector to enhance fiscal viability and restore room for manoeuvre for stabilization policy.
Despite improved fundamentals, Mexico is hit hard by the financial crisis, being exposed to several simultaneous external shocks. A welcome, but weak, stimulus was passed for 2009, and policy will likely need to be supportive also in 2010.
Fiscal policy is highly dependent on volatile oil income. The balanced budget rule can create a bias for spending oil revenues as they are earned, especially as transfers to the stabilization funds are limited by caps at low levels. This can potentially lead to a pro-cyclical bias in fiscal policy. Revenues have also been lower than they could have, if gasoline prices had adjusted with international prices instead of a price smoothing
Despite progress over the past two decades Mexico’s health and education indicators remain well below the average of the OECD and some of its Latin American emerging market peers.
This publication sets out the conclusions of the OECD study that examined the role of banks in the provision of aggressive tax planning arrangements. It examines the nature of banking, the complex structured financing transactions developed by banks and how they are then used by both banks and their clients. The report makes a number of recommendations for revenue bodies and identifies best practices for consideration by banks.
After a decade of rapid growth, Russia has fallen into recession. The near term challenge is to limit the extent of the downturn, while beyond the crisis, a sounder growth model should be put in place.
The immediate challenge is to gauge the optimal amount and form of stimulus and support for banks, while safeguarding fiscal sustainability. Looking further ahead, tax reform can help raise potential growth rates.
The complexities and fragmentation of Brazil’s tax system make it particularly onerous to enterprises, making it a priority for reform. The state-level VAT has often been used as an industrial policy instrument, resulting in predatory tax competition among the states. Remaining federal levies on enterprise turnover are detrimental to the competitiveness of Brazilian exports. The burden of payroll taxes and social security
Securing fiscal sustainability requires a reform of the fiscal federalism system. The current transfer system does not align spending and taxing responsibilities and the organisation of the federation is not promoting public spending efficiency.
Public finances are shifting further away from fiscal sustainability, emphasising the need for the reform of the fiscal policy making and strategies to deal with the costs of ageing.