Research Paper OECD Economics Department Working Papers 1106
Fairly sharing the social impact of the crisis in Greece
09 Jan 2014
Poverty and income inequality have worsened since the onset of the crisis. While the design of fiscal measures has mitigated the burden sharing of fiscal adjustment, as the recession has deepened unemployment has risen, earnings have declined and social tensions have increased. Getting people back to work and supporting the most vulnerable remain priorities for inclusive growth and distributing the costs of adjustment equitably. Within the limited fiscal space this calls for continued reforms in targeting social support, especially housing benefits, extending unemployment insurance and introducing a means-tested minimum income. Sustaining universal access to good health care is also essential. Well-designed activation policies are important to bring the unemployed, especially the young, to work. At the same time, it is important to strengthen the effectiveness of the labour inspection to ensure full enforcement of the labour code. Decisive steps to contain tax evasion are also critical to social fairness. Reforms by the government in many of these areas are welcome and need to continue.