Fiscal Policy in the Smaller Industrial Countries, 1972-82 by Gisli Glondal

By Gisli Glondal

Written via Gísli Blöndal, former consultant within the IMF's financial Affairs division, the ebook examines the monetary coverage pursued via thirteen of the smaller commercial international locations over the interval 1972-82.

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Measures to stimulate employment frequently took other forms, such as increased capital expenditure and lending operations; or, they were carried out in the same form, but by other public entities, such as local governments, as in Denmark and Sweden; in Austria, the nationalized industries received increased central government transfers to compensate for higher costs of creating additional employment. 3) except Luxembourg, where the government finances registered surpluses for most of the period; and Spain, where continuous surpluses in the 1960s partially absorbed persistent fiscal deficits over the period covered, as did an erosion of outstanding debt brought about by inflation.

These developments are discussed in some detail under individual country sections in Part II. 12). Expressed as a ratio to GDP, government debt in 1982 was the highest in Ireland, at 109 percent. Other countries recording high government debt were Belgium (74 percent), and Denmark and New Zealand (almost 60 percent each). There is evidence that these ratios have since expanded. By contrast, Finland's government debt was a moderate 121/2percent of GDP in 1982, and in Luxembourg, it was negligible.

In Australia the rise was due to a levy on domestic crude oil that was gradually equated with import prices. In the other three countries, value-added or sales taxes were raised to curb private sector demand and to compensate for revenue losses resulting from cuts in the income tax. In terms of GDP ratios, this tax category rose or remained constant in most countries in the group; the largest increases were in Iceland (6 percent) and Denmark (2 percent). In two countries, the ratio declined over the period; in Norway, by11/2 percentage points, and in the Netherlands, by less than 1 percentage point.

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