Corruption, lost revenue and social costs

Governments should resist the temptation of cutting social protection, and cut corruption instead.

Corruption is a literal squeeze on the citizens of Kenya.

Corruption is estimated to cost around 5 percent of global GDP – with US$1 trillion paid in bribes alone.

According to the IMF, corruption leads to another US$1 trillion in lost tax revenues. But these numbers don’t capture the full loss of resources from the myriad channels, licit and illicit, through which the political and business elite enrich themselves at the public’s expense.

Unsurprisingly, an increase in corruption is linked to decreased spending on health and education.

“Help fight corruption for a better Ndhiwa, a better, Kenya and a better world”.

Alfred Yambo

In other words, research has shown that corruption drives inequality by depleting government funds for social programs, and creating opportunities for the transfer of precious public resources into the pockets of the connected elite.

While tackling corruption is most urgent during economic crises, research has shown that crises can make corruption worse while diminishing attention to it. Officials are more likely to demand bribes, and emergency spending can be ripe for abuse while oversight mechanisms are distracted, overwhelmed, or sidelined.

Together, we can defeat corruption. It starts with me and you.

Published by Lavine

"Do unto me as you would have me do unto you".

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