A global Protection Social Fund to kickstart national systems of social protection- ITUC Campaign

  • February 20, 2021

 

The Covid-19 pandemic has brutally exposed the fault lines of the global divide between those that have universal social protection, including health and income support, and those that don’t. In too many of the poorest countries, workers in both the formal and the informal sectors have faced the
choice of staying at home and watching their families starving or trying to find work despite the very real risk of the coronavirus to their lives and those in their community. The ILO has estimated Covid-19 has already led to the loss of an equivalent of 495 million full-time jobs and has led to a surge in the demand on health systems, along with unemployment and sickness benefits. Many governments have stepped-up their social protection systems in response to the crisis, but efforts have been uneven, with many low-income countries lacking the fiscal space to do so.

Social protection is essential for human security and social justice. It is a foundation for peaceful societies committed to building shared prosperity.
It creates the basis for economic development and builds resilience against personal, national or global shocks. A social protection floor includes basic income security including cash transfers where necessary; pensions for the elderly; disability benefits; unemployment benefits and support; maternity
protection; and child benefits amongst other nationally identified needs.
In addition and equally important, universal access to essential social services – including health, education, water, sanitation and housing – is vital.

Social protection is essential for human security and social justice. It is a foundation for peaceful societies committed to building shared prosperity.
It creates the basis for economic development and builds resilience against personal, national or global shocks. A social protection floor includes basic income security including cash transfers where necessary; pensions for the elderly; disability benefits; unemployment benefits and support; maternity
protection; and child benefits amongst other nationally identified needs
.
In addition and equally important, universal access to essential social services – including health, education, water, sanitation and housing – is vital.

 

A global social protection fund to kickstart national systems of social protection is affordable with the financing coming from a range of sources, including:

  • Official development assistance. Only 0.69 per cent of official development assistance by OECD/DAC donor governments goes towards social protection, despite how critical it is to reduce poverty and support inclusive economic development. A global fund could involve increasing ODA commitments towards building social protection systems.
  • Increased international cooperation on taxation. Estimates have shown, for instance, that a broadbased, low rate (0.01% – 0.05%) tax on financial transactions (FTT) could potentially generate up to 480 billion euros globally. Currency transaction taxes could moreover potentially raise around US$33 billion per year. A minimum corporate tax threshold coordinated at the international level, could also be considered, with the aim of raising revenues while simultaneously tackling tax avoidance, tax competition and social dumping. → The sum of the values of the green bars for years one to five show the international financing needs for progressive universal coverage totaling US$37.8 billion. → Domestic fiscal space will continuously increase, meaning that a smaller share of social protection investments will need to be supported through international resources (green bars). → Total financing needs (blue bars) will increase as countries develop their social protection systems and cover larger shares of the population.
  • International financial institutions. Contributions could come from existing funds for country programmes. This could be complemented by on debt relief or cancellation and SDR liquidity swaps. Financing a Global Social Protection Fund is an act of solidarity that can be realised.

access here the full campaign brief.

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