Fiscal policy helps reduce poverty and inequality in Namibia

Source: Xinhua| 2017-06-14 03:05:57|Editor: Mu Xuequan
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WINDHOEK, June 13 (Xinhua) -- Namibia's progressive fiscal policies, and generous social spending have helped to reduce poverty and inequality, according to Statistician General, Alex Shimuafeni.

Shimuafeni said this following a joint report by the World Bank and the Namibia Statistics Agency released on Tuesday, in Windhoek.

The Distributional Impacts of Fiscal Policy Report, assesses the impact of government taxation and social spending and whether the government is making the best possible use of these tools to address poverty and inequality.

The report finds that the proportion of the population that were living in severe poverty in 2009/10 is reduced largely due to the impact of direct cash transfers, especially the old age pension. Other transfers given to the most vulnerable members of society include veterans and disability grants, child maintenance, and foster care grants.

According to the report, the fiscal policy lifted 118,000 people out of poverty and cut the rate of severe poverty by nearly a quarter.

World Bank Country Director for Namibia, Paul Noumba Um, said tackling poverty and unemployment in one of the most unequal countries in the world is no small task, but Namibia has outlined a clear strategy for the way forward in the Vision 2030 plan.

"We hope this analysis will help policy makers improve existing policies that have been shown to reduce poverty and inequality, with the goal of lifting up those who are still living in poverty in Namibia," he added.