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Below is a list of some of the actions taken by governments aimed at offering relief to hard-hit consumers and companies:
- The United States will help millions of indebted former students by canceling $10,000 of their outstanding student loans. The move follows the $430-billion Inflation Reduction Act unveiled earlier this month, which includes cuts to prescription drug prices and tax credits to encourage energy efficiency.
- Brazil’s oil giant Petrobras in mid-August announced a nearly 5% cut on gasoline prices, its third cut in less than a month. The government in July cut fuel taxes and raised social welfare payments.
- Chile in July announced a $1.2-billion aid plan including labor subsidies and one-time payments of $120 for 7.5 million of its 19 million residents.
- Denmark in late August capped annual rent increases at 4% for the next two years. The move follows earlier relief measures, including a 3.1-billion-Danish-crown ($418.34 million) package announced in June.
- Germany will introduce a gas price levy on consumers from October 1. In July, Berlin agreed a 15-billion-euro ($15.05 billion) state bailout of Uniper, the country’s largest importer of Russian gas. It had also cut fuel taxes and slashed public transport costs, but these measures are set to expire from September.
- France’s parliament on August 3 adopted a 20-billion-euro relief bill, lifting pensions and some welfare payments, while also allowing companies to pay higher bonuses tax-free. In late August, the government said it did not rule out a windfall tax on companies.
- Italy on August 4 approved about 17 billion euros in aid. The legislation aims to cut electricity and gas bills and adds to about 35 billion euros budgeted since January to soften the impact of soaring energy costs.
- Poland approved a new package, which includes subsidies for heating plants whose price increases will not exceed 40%, and a 13.7-billion-zloty ($2.91 billion) cash transfer for municipalities to help residents with soaring energy bills. The country had also in July introduced a relief scheme for holders of local currency mortgages.
- Japan’s average minimum wage is set for a record 3.3% increase for the year ending March 2023. The government is also due to refrain from raising the price of imported wheat it sells to retailers, as part of a planned broader relief package. The steps follow a $103-billion bill passed in April.
- Indonesia will reallocate 24.17 trillion rupiah ($1.63 billion)of its fuel subsidy budget towards welfare spending, including cash handouts to 20.65 million households. The government will also instruct regional administrations to subsidize transport fares.
- India in May imposed restrictions on exports of food items including wheat and sugar, which account for nearly 40% of the consumer price index, and cut taxes on imports of edible oil.
Africa and Middle East
- South Africa in late July announced a cut in the pump prices of fuels.
- Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates in early July raised their social welfare spending. The UAE doubled financial support to low-income Emirati families, while Saudi Arabia’s King Salman ordered the allocation of 20 billion riyals ($5.33 billion).
- Turkey in early July increased its minimum wage by about 30%, adding to the 50% rise seen at the end of last year.
$1 = 14,840.0000 rupiah
$1 = 7.4103 Danish crowns
$1 = 4.7145 zlotys
$1 = 3.7552 riyals
$1 = 0.9965 euros