Oxfam Response to IMF Managing Director Press Conference

Christine Lagarde gave the go ahead for 3 countries affected by Ebola to increase their fiscal deficit.

Nicolas Mombrial, head of Oxfam’s DC office said,

"Who would have thought that IMF would ever give the green light to countries— even affected by a terrible epidemic— to increase their fiscal deficits? It is jaw-dropping.”

“With the recent IMF discourse on inequality, gender, climate, it raises hope of a new IMF that has moved past the Washington Consensus and its promotion of austerity policies to prioritizing the needs of those at the bottom of the income gap.”

But this hope will only become a reality if the IMF advises countries in measures that truly benefit world’s poor like investing in public health and education and making fiscal system more progressive.

Unfortunately, recent guidance to countries like Spain and Italy have hints of the same old game.

Notes to editors: 

In Spain the IMF advice the government to increase the VAT and decrease corporate income taxation, measures that are likely to increase inequality.

In Italy, the IMF has welcomed the bold reform by the government slashing public sector jobs and striping long term workers of many of their rights.

Contact information: 

For more information, please contact: Patricia Brooks, patricia@matchmpamedia.com, (202) 351-1757

For updates, please follow @Oxfam.