The ways of Norway, Australia and Egypt help those in need in times of crisis
Despite soaring inflation, Norway plans to increase spending on its $1.4 trillion sovereign wealth fund to protect social services. Therefore, the Norwegian government, led by the Labor Party, will increase the so-called non-oil structural fiscal deficit to $36 billion. Increased disbursements from the fund will mainly be used to increase spending on social security and pensions – to compensate for the increase in wages and prices – and to support Ukraine and refugees.
Australia’s centre-left Labor government pledged nearly $10 billion to support the federal budget for cost-of-living allowances for families and businesses. The plan aims to ease price pressures and the effects of inflation, which currently stands at 7% and is close to 30-year highs. According to the Australian authorities, this initiative should not increase inflation. The financial assistance will be spread over four years and aimed at more than 5 million low-income families, small businesses and retirees struggling with high electricity bills.
Egypt is reducing the amount millions can claim under its subsidised food scheme. It’s part of an effort to reorganise the costly welfare system in the face of the country’s worst economic crisis. About 60% of the 104 million Egyptians hold food stamps and will receive, for example, half of the monthly allocation of subsidised sugar (1 kg) per person.