Maintaining social protection during fiscal consolidation – Universities
Winarno Zain (Jakarta Post Office)
Wed 24 Aug 2022
Social protection programs have been a rapid government response during the pandemic to protect the poor and other vulnerable groups from the devastating impact of the spread of COVID-19. Spending on social protection programs, which consist of three programs related to human development (health, social assistance and education), has been the main feature of the state budget, especially during the pandemic.
Before the pandemic, the budget for these three programs represented 45% of public expenditure. When we felt the pinch of the pandemic in 2020 and 2021, spending soared to 70% and 63% of total spending respectively. It was the surge in these expenditures that caused the budget deficit to plunge to 6.1% and 4.6% of GDP, exceeding the legal limit of 3%.
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