An IMF policy paper released on Tuesday 6th June has led many Social Protection thinkers and interest bearers to criticise the Fund’s insistence on targeted Social Protection Programs as going against the grain in global thinking. The Policy Paper was the object of an executive board discussion, on “social safeguards” in Fund programmes for low-income countries (LICs). The safeguards refer to government spending for health, education and social safety nets. As highlighted by Peter Bakvis of ITUC/Global Unions – Washington Office “The paper supports the inclusion of measures such as social spending floors in IMF programmes, but it strongly endorses targeting rather than universal systems so as to limit their cost and does not recommend introducing binding conditionality for social spending.”
In response, Alexander Kentikelenis, University of Oxford and Thomas Stubbs, University of Cambridge have critiqued the paper calling it a self-congratulatory piece which is methodologically flawed and inextensive in its references as 21 out of the 22 references are studies authored by the IMF itself.