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Inflation performance has been unsatisfactory. By joining the euro area, Iceland would share the benefits of the ECB’s credibility. Substantial fiscal consolidation is required following the financial crisis.
Today the OECD issued its Tax Co-operation 2009: Towards a Level Playing Field. This is the fourth annual assessment of progress being made towards greater transparency and information exchange in the area of taxation.
High public debt leaves virtually no room for fiscal manoeuvre to limit the impact of the crisis in Greece. The close trade and banking links established with the Balkan countries might be a risk in the near future.
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.