Consolidating Germany's Finances [E-Book]: Issues in Public Sector Spending Reform / Eckhard Wurzel
Wurzel, Eckhard.
Paris : OECD Publishing, 2003
39 p. ; 21 x 29.7cm.
OECD Economics Department Working Papers ; 366
Full Text
While the German federal fiscal system has been successful in promoting a high standard of living even in regions whose economic capacity is low, tensions have emerged. Firstly, it has been difficult to ensure a sustainable fiscal policy, and the size of the overall deficit makes it difficult for the automatic stabilisers to operate freely. Second, overlapping responsibilities between governments and the financing of public spending programmes via inter-governmental transfers provide individual governments with little incentives to contain costs and demand. Thirdly, social spending often discourages a higher utilisation of labour. Furthermore, public expenditure is going to have to cope with increasing pressure due to the substantial deterioration of the old-age dependency ratio projected for the next years and decades and the continuing fiscal burden associated with reunification. Hence, continuing the process of fiscal consolidation and improving the quality of government ...