Middle Eastern countries must broaden tax bases: Lagarde

Middle Eastern countries should pursue fiscal policies to support growth and build broader tax bases to fund infrastructure projects and social spending, IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde said on Tuesday.

“A key priority is building broader and more equitable tax bases. All must pay their fair share, while the poor must be protected,” Largarde told an economic conference in Marrakech, Morocco, according to a transcript of the speech.

That would allow to spend more on social safety nets, health and education services than the current 11 percent of GDP in the region — less than 19 percent in emerging Europe.

“Fiscal policy can and must be redesigned to support inclusive growth in the region,” Largarde said.

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