In response to the publication today of the World Economic Outlook by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Nabil Abdo, Oxfam International’s senior policy advisor on international financial institutions, said:
“The IMF is now saying that fiscal consolidation during economic crisis —like today’s economic maelstrom— hasn't served its primary purpose of reducing debt. It’s positive that the IMF is finally admitting this painfully evident fact, but it’s hugely frustrating that it continues to push austerity measures on poor borrowing countries facing huge economic challenges.
“Austerity should not be the default policy framework for IMF loan programs. There are alternative measures, like progressive taxation, that the IMF should be recommending countries adopt to ensure a fair and sustainable recovery.
“Not only does austerity do more harm than good —it kills. It stunts lives and it destroys potential. It cripples economies, setting societies’ progress back many years. It drives up inequality and poverty. Ordinary people who are most reliant on the government and public sector for support pay the highest price, while those with wealth can use their money to insulate themselves from harm.”