Vietnam does well on the Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index (CRII), coming second within ASEAN, and ranks 77 out of 158 countries this year.
Very low spending on public healthcare, weak social safety nets and poor labor rights meant the majority of the world’s countries were woefully ill-equipped to deal with COVID-19, reveals new analysis from Oxfam and Development Finance International (DFI) today.
The Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index (CRII) shows that only 26 out of 158 countries were spending the recommended 15 percent of their budgets on health prior to the pandemic, and in 103 countries at least one in three workers lacked basic labor rights and protections, like sick pay, when the virus struck.
The index ranks 158 governments on their policies on public services, tax and workers’ rights, three areas pivotal to reducing inequality and weathering the COVID-19 storm. It is being launched ahead of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) virtual Annual Meetings next week.
Overall, Vietnam does well on the Commitment to Reducing Inequality Index (CRII), coming second within ASEAN, and ranks 77 out of 158 countries this year.
Vietnam is widely acknowledged to have had one of the world’s most successful responses to COVID-19. It moved rapidly with containment; targeted testing, tracking and quarantine; and public communications. It also included measures to limit increases in poverty and inequality, a plan on providing financial relief of US$2.7 billion for 20 million vulnerable people, and paying workers whose contracts were suspended a monthly allowance of VND1.8 million.
Viet Nam is to be congratulated on its recent progress in several areas of policy to fight inequality. Compared to other countries in ASEAN, Vietnam’s performance is better in terms of health and social protection spending, collecting high levels of tax, and promoting women’s labour rights.
Nevertheless, the findings also show the need to reinforce Vietnamese people-centred policies to fight inequality in the following ways: increasing the CIT rate and reducing corporate tax incentives; increasing spending for public services including education, health, and social protection; increasing its minimum wage to living wage, taking progressive towards universal social protection coverage and access, especially workers in informal and vulnerable employment; moving ahead with its adoption of laws allowing independent workers’ representative organizations in accordance with ILO conventions and creating an enabling institutional environment for fairer public policy, with citizens and civil society empowered to participate and provide their feedbacks; monitor and reduce inequality as part of poverty reduction.