Latin American Region, European Union Region · 13 May, 2020

Tax policies against the economic and social impact of COVID-19

The EUROsociAL+ Democratic Governance area at FIIAPP and SISCA have co-organised a cycle of webinars that promote exchange between the European Union and Latin America on best tax practices against the crisis

The consequences of the health crisis are affecting the whole world and all dimensions of development: health, economic, social, etc. This impact has been greater in the most vulnerable social sectors and has led levels of poverty and economic and social inequality to soar around the globe.

In this context, tax policies have become a key tool to limit and mitigate these impacts. Measures such as minimum incomes or expansion of unemployment insurance have been placed at the centre of the debate to give a tax response to the consequences of the pandemic.

For this reason, EUROsociAL+ has organised, together with the Secretariat for Central American Social Integration (SISCA) and the Executive Secretariat of the Council of Finance Ministers of Central America, Panama and the Dominican Republic of SICA (SECOSEFIN), a series of webinars that address this dimension of the response to the health crisis.

In the first webinar, specialists discussed tax responses to the effects of the crisis and explored the spheres of tax, budgetary, financial and social policy through experiences in the countries of Latin America and the European Union.

‘It is essential to protect the most vulnerable population and the business fabric, which will be key in the post-pandemic recovery,’ explained Alfredo Suárez Mieses, Secretary General of the Central American Secretariat for Social Integration (SISCA).

For his part, the director of the EUROsociAL+ programme, Juan Manuel Santomé, stressed that it is important to study who might benefit from the measures: “A clear analysis must be made of who wins and who loses with the measures; it is key to fight with a gender focus. We face many shared challenges both in Europe and in Latin America, I hope we learn and emerge with more resilient societies aimed at inclusive development that leaves no one behind, as the 2030 Agenda says.”

With the series of webinars, EUROsociAL+, a programme funded by the European Union, has several objectives: to present an overview of the first tax responses from the experiences of Latin America and the European Union; to reflect on the medium-term responses and on the role that the State and tax policies must play to guarantee acceptable levels of health coverage, income support and social protection, and; to identify common challenges in tax matters and cooperation mechanisms to enable these policies to be strengthened.

Country: Latin American Region, European Union Region
SDG: Reduced inequalities, Peace, justice and strong institutions
Policy area: Democratic governance policies