March 4, 2009 |The dramatic decline in the demand for cars has been a signature effect of the global economic crisis. Faced with a massive drop in sales - for example, 29 per cent in the case of Toyota and 49 per cent across the General Motors brands - the United States, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and more recently, South Korea, Brazil, Japan and China have concluded that government bail-outs are both justifiable and necessary for the health of their auto sectors.
December 29, 2008 |The proportion of public spending on health by India fell from an already low 1.3 percent of GDP in 1991 (when the economic reforms began) to 0.9 percent by 2005 (Myanmar and Sudan are among the countries that spend more).
July 30, 2008 |Last month, Oxfam GB launched an emergency appeal for East Africa. Oxfam’s last call for emergency help for the region was in 2006, and there have been countless others before, precipitated by drought, conflict or, like now, both. But this time, something is different. There is food on shelves, but people can’t afford it.
June 15, 2008 |During the 1990s, Malawian farmers experienced a rough transition from government policies that controlled and supported the agricultural sector, such as fertilizer subsidies and price stabilization, to a more liberalized agricultural policy environment.
May 29, 2008 |On 30 November, Uruguayan Ambassador Guillermo Valles Games and chair of the fisheries subsidies negotiations at the World Trade Organization (WTO) released a first draft of a text outlining possible disciplines to regulate fisheries subsidies.
May 29, 2008 |The European Union fisheries sector is firmly part of the global fisheries crisis. In Europe more than 80% of known resources are over-fished, while overseas EU fleets have done more than their share to bring commercial productivity of the oceans to an all-time low.
May 29, 2008 |Agricultural is the leading consumptive user of water, accounting for between 70 to 90 percent of the total water used in developing countries and more than one third of the water consumed in many OECD countries.
May 29, 2008 |There are signs aplenty in rural Asia of the profligate use of energy - electrical and fossil fuel - but little evidence that such use is being assessed against its true costs. This is because supplying cheap power (and in some cases free power) is a valuable political lever. In rural Asia, the value of such 'support' can be judged by the scale of popular opposition to its withdrawal.
May 10, 2008 |A few years ago, a group of young social scientists decided to team up to study the opportunities for least developed countries (LDCs) to produce biofuels.
Commentary: Moving pillars: A comment on the November 2007 CAP healthcheck
November 29, 2007 |
Direct payments were introduced during the CAP reform of 1992, allowing a transition from the earlier production-oriented CAP toward policies intended to promote rural restructuring and the positive externalities that can result from farm-related activities. Direct payments introduced in 1992, as farm income support instruments, were subsidies per hectare of crops or per head of animal.
October 29, 2007 |The appearance of GSI's recent survey of how OECD economies are pouring billions into subsidising biofuels provides a good time to take stock of the GSI project. Ours is not an ideological crusade against subsidies. Subsidies are a perfectly legitimate policy tool. Spending public money to advance private ends can sometimes make sense. But those who claim that have to provide hard evidence.
September 29, 2007 |Rich and poor countries alike are locked in battle over farm subsidy spending in negotiations at the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Geneva, where a 17 July draft text by the chair of the agriculture negotiations has sparked renewed controversy between delegates. Sixty years of trade negotiations - under the WTO and its forerunner the GATT - have bequeathed only minimal controls on agricultural subsidies.
September 29, 2007 |The U.S. Congress is in the process of enacting its new federal legislation in areas of agricultural and energy policy. In July, the House Agriculture Committee passed its version of the farm bill, while the Senate will tackle its version in September. Meanwhile, both Houses have passed quite different versions of the energy bill. These bills will also need a stamp of approval from the Executive Branch in the fall. Subsidy Watch has asked three experts to highlight what they consider the good and bad in these bills.
August 29, 2007 |Many countries in the developing world are concerned about the impact of high oil prices on their economic growth. This is the case not only in Asia, but also in Latin America, where subsidies are often used to lower the consumer price of petroleum products, at heavy cost to public budgets.
July 29, 2007 |When Indonesia started subsidizing fuel in 1967, in the early days of President Suharto, the policy seemed to make sense given the staggering poverty at the time. Hyperinflation hit 650 percent, and the resulting public anger forced Founding Father President Sukarno to step down after 22 years of power. Suharto then introduced fuel subsidies as a means to keep poverty at bay.
Commentary: Going to Market: Why India Needs More than OECD Subsidy Reform
Wealthy countries support their farmers through a host of different measures, such as direct payments, price incentives and export subsidies, which artificially reduce world prices below the cost of production and inhibit the ability of farmers in poorer countries to compete in the world market.
Commentary: Does subsidy removal hurt The poor? The case of fuel subsidies in Nigeria
A jump in fuel prices is never welcome by the general populace. Yet in Nigeria, where fuel prices are regulated, the government has recently allowed the price of refined petroleum products' to rise, and is prepared to continue doing so. The Nigerian government routinely imports petroleum and sells these imports at below cost on the domestic market to keep price levels down.
May 29, 2007 |United States farm subsidy programs are again proving to be a major obstacle to expanding international trade opportunities at Geneva meetings aimed at reviving the Doha round of trade negotiations. Opponents of farm subsidy reform may be applauding this impasse, but there is be no reason for glee from the public at large. U.S. farm subsidy programs are broken and need to be fixed.
April 29, 2007 |Call it is one of the unknown Indian ironies. Over many years, the Indian state, through its public irrigation agencies, has systematically taken over the management of surface water systems. It has taken over the job of building irrigation systems-dams, reservoirs and canals-then maintaining these and supplying water.
Blog: Removing Fuel Subsidies: Clearing the Road to Sustainable Development
March 29, 2007 |
Fuel prices, fuel taxation and subsidies for petrol and diesel fuel rank high on the world's political agenda, particularly after the spectacular increases in world market prices for crude oil (up to USD 75 a barrel in August 2006) and the subsequent slide in price to around USD 54 a barrel in January 2007.