Social protection key to fair economic growth

SOCIAL protection schemes are key and essential to the fair distribution of resources to foster economic growth and development says a renowned expert in social protection Alexander van den Heever.

Lecture Heever said in Lusaka poorly designed social protection schemes were bound to harm the development of any country.

“No matter what is promised through a social protection scheme, or how it is financed, social protection should ensure absolute levels of consumption in the immediate or long term future,” he said.

Professor Heever observed that the levels of transfer recorded in national statistics do not appear to correspond closely with the economic potential of the different countries, adding that such has constituted an affordability limit for social security.

He said the social protection could produce more efficient economy and a more balanced distribution of consumption expenditure, and that the programme was aimed at responding to challenges in society.

And the International Labour Organisation (ILO) has said that the social protection floor guarantee residents access to essential health care and basic income security.

ILO technical advisor on social security Nuno Cunha said social protection floor could provide an interesting framework for national dialogue and help to define a long term vision of what ideally a social protection system should be able to provide in the long term. Mr Cunha said the social protection floors were a guarantee that children enjoyed basic income security, providing access to nutrition, education, care, and any other necessary goods and services.

He said comparing governments’ current targets up to 2014 with the estimated fiscal space for Social Protection (IMF projections) depended on how the country decided on targeted via universal schemes coming from production.