Liberia: One of the least commited countries to reducing inequality

Liberia has only the fifth lowest inequality in ECOWAS+1, but this is still affecting growth negatively, and has been rising recently. It is 154th of 158 countries in the CRII, 44th of 47 in Africa and second from bottom in ECOWAS+. It scores especially badly on tax policy, but not much better on public services or labour rights.

Liberia has increased education and health spending in recent years, but these and social protection spending levels remain far from ensuring universal secondary school completion, health care access or comprehensive social protection coverage. As a result, they are reducing inequality only marginally. Liberia’s tax policies score very badly, reflecting an inequality-exacerbating tax system relying on regressive VAT, with corporate and top income tax rates too low, and an absence of inheritance, gift or wealth taxes. Tax collection is also undermined by exemptions for the rich and tax dodging. Labour policies are strong on union rights, but less on women’s rights; the minimum wage is high but poorly enforced, and three quarters of workers are informally/vulnerably employed without rights. Government spending in agriculture is marginal, debt service is crowding out SDG spending, and COVID-19 response tackled inequality only through social protection.

Download Full Report Here : LIBERIA_CRII_Country_Profile