ABSTRACT

IMF and Health Taxes: Progress Falters During COVID-19 Emergency   [open pdf - 335KB]

From the Document: "Corrective taxes on harmful products--health taxes--are a cost-effective way to save lives and generate additional tax revenue. Our previous work shows that corrective tax revenue from alcohol, tobacco, and sugar-sweetened beverages (SSBs) remains well below the health-related costs from consumption (externalities and internalities). We survey measures taken in IMF [International Monetary Fund] lending to 93 countries during 2017--2021. We show that health tax measures during COVID-19 [coronavirus disease 2019] have diminished in number and strength because the international community has mobilized additional, largely unconditional financing to fill budgetary gaps and because countries sought to cushion consumers' reduced spending power by delaying new or increased taxes. But, as policymakers look to medium-term budget consolidation, international financial organizations (IFIs), especially the IMF, have an important role to play in ensuring health taxes move forward more rapidly. We reiterate an action agenda on health taxes for the IMF in coordination with other international agencies."

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Date:
2022-03
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Center for Global Development. Posted here with permission. Document is under a Creative Commons license and requires proper attribution and noncommercial use to be shared: [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/]
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Center for Global Development: https://www.cgdev.org/
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pdf
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application/pdf
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