Inequality is an obstacle to economic growth and undermines social cohesion. The COVID-19 pandemic and the fallout of the ongoing war in Ukraine have further exacerbated inequalities both between and within countries. The UN estimates that progress made towards reaching SDG 10 in the world’s poorest countries may have been set back by 10 years through COVID-19 pandemic alone.[1] Effectively addressing multidimensional inequalities therefore needs to be at the centre of recovery processes.


Public finance has been identified as a catalyst for sustainable development and the Recover Forward process. It is essential to get the incentives to Recover Forward right as well as counteracting some of the tendencies observed during the pandemic, for example the reduction of funds for climate change mitigation and adaptation.[2]


Fiscal policy entails the use of government spending and taxation levels to influence the economy, and can be particularly useful in reducing income and wealth inequality as recognised by SDG indicator 10.4.2.[3] It is also useful for addressing other multidimensional inequalities, by influencing important framework conditions such as access to and outcome of education, health and other basic social security systems. To ensure that fiscal policies achieve their expected objectives, information about their implementation and evidence of their impact is crucial.