Fiscal Space for Social Protection: a handbook for assessing financing options
This practical handbook is an essential companion to assess financing options to extend social protection coverage and benefits. This document demonstrates that there are alternatives even in the poorest countries. These include eight options: (1) expanding social security coverage and contributory revenues; (2) increasing tax revenues; (3) eliminating illicit financial flows; (4) re-allocating public expenditures; (5) using fiscal and central bank foreign exchange reserves; (6) borrowing and restructuring existing debt; (7) adopting a more accommodating macroeconomic from work; and (8) increasing aid and transfers. All of the financing options described in this handbook are supported by policy statements of the United Nations and international financial institutions – and governments around the world have been applying them for decades, showing a wide variety of revenue choices. National dialogue, with government, employers and workers as well as civil society, academics, UN agencies and others, is fundamental to generate political will to exploit all possible fiscal space options in a country, and adopt the optimal mix of public policies for inclusive growth with jobs and social protection.