The rising prices of food and consumer goods and energy bills are worrying governments around the world, prompting them to alleviate the pain of inflation for their citizens through various measures, after high prices rose strongly as a result of the repercussions of the Corona virus on global supply chains and the effects of the Ukraine war.
Here are the most prominent measures through which governments around the world are trying to help severely affected consumers and companies:
The US drug pricing reform, part of the Inflation Control Act, penalizes drug makers for excessive prices and aims to reduce costs to Medicare beneficiaries.
Some pharmaceutical companies have challenged the program in court, while the Biden administration is also seeking student debt relief, which also faces legal challenges.
1 – Canada
Canada’s five major grocery chains agreed earlier this September to help the government as it seeks to stabilize high food prices. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has pledged to cut federal taxes on new rental buildings to ease pressure on the housing market.
2 – Brazil
Brazil launched a debt renegotiation program for millions of low-income individuals using state guarantees. The government also raised the minimum wage and adopted more generous social welfare programs.
3 – Argentina
Argentina froze the price of a barrel of local crude oil at $56 until the end of next October, after an agreement with major players in the sector, led by YPF and Vista. The government also announced a freeze on derivative prices at local fuel distribution stations.
The European Union earlier this year extended the gas price cap system to all commercial centers in its territory until January 2024.
5 – France
France plans to temporarily lift a ban on retailers selling road fuel below cost, as part of efforts to help families, as the government pressures the consumer goods industry to lower prices.
6 – Netherlands
Dutch lawmakers have backed a tax on share buybacks by listed companies and a higher tax on banks in order to cover a minimum wage increase and boost childcare subsidies in 2024.
7 – Poland
Poland’s minimum wage will rise by about 18% in January 2024, followed by another hike in July, Prime Minister Mateusz Morawski said in September.
8 – Italy
The Italian government has agreed steps with major supermarket chains and small retailers to cap the prices of basic goods from October to December.
9 – Sweden
The Swedish government is set to increase working tax breaks and cut fuel excise duty to help people most affected by inflation and interest rates.
10 – Britain
Millions of UK households will get cheaper energy bills this winter after energy market regulator Ofgem reduced the maximum price on home energy bills by around 7% from October 1.
11 – Germany
Germany has launched a program that will save tens of billions of euros for companies facing high energy costs. Last year, the government imposed maximum limits on electricity and gas prices.
12 – Japan
Japanese Prime Minister Fumio Kishida announced in September that his country would take steps so that wage growth consistently exceeds inflation by “several percentage points,” while the government is set to unveil a package of measures to combat rising fuel prices.
13 – India
The Indian government has stepped up sales of subsidized vegetables and has begun using its wheat and sugar stocks to calm market prices. It is scheduled to ban sugar exports from October for the first time in seven years, and has already banned the export of major categories of rice in July.
14 – Thailand
Thai Labor Minister Sokart Chomklin said earlier in September that his country would set a new minimum daily wage by the end of the year, adding that the size of the increase would exceed inflation.
15 – Philippines
In early September, the Philippines announced a ceiling on the prices of rice, the national staple food, with the ceilings remaining in place until President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. lifts them.
16 – Australia
Australia raised its minimum wage by 5.75% effective July 1. In May, the government said it would include A$14.6 billion ($9.43 billion) over four years in the federal budget to support living costs.
17 – South Korea
South Korea reduced tariffs from June on high-priced edible products, including pork and sugar.
Africa and the Middle East
18 – Nigeria
In August, Nigeria agreed to provide a total of 180 billion naira ($234.55 million) to its 36 states to purchase rice and maize to mitigate the effects of food shortages across the country.
Trade unions criticized the government for ending fuel subsidies without taking measures to ease inflation.
19 – Egypt
Egypt is set to keep electricity prices unchanged for consumers until January 2024, the Cabinet said last August.
20 – Türkiye
In June, Turkey raised the monthly minimum wage by an additional 34%, starting from July 1. Ankara also raised it by 100% over the past year.
21 – Morocco
In April, Morocco adopted a decree abolishing value-added tax on agricultural inputs such as soil nutrients.
22 – South Africa
In late March, the majority of South Africa’s public sector unions agreed to a 7.5% wage increase after five months of strikes.
(Reuters, Al-Arabi Al-Jadeed)
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