Lebanon: Government Recovery Plan Asks Too Much of Ordinary Lebanese, and Not Enough from Elites

“A selective laundry list instead of a fair plan” – read Triangle’s critique of the Lebanese government’s economic reform plan, in Sami Halabi‘s Op-Ed for the Arab Reform Initiative.

Facing an economy in free-fall, the Lebanese government has finally adopted a financial recovery plan that it has sent to the IMF and international donors. This paper argues that the plan fails to introduce strong accountability measures to address rampant corruption and mismanagement and does not tackle widespread inequality which could be done through a better distribution of losses and the introduction of more progressive taxation. Despite the government’s stated promise to “protect the poorest segments of the population from the dire consequences of the crisis”, the paper expects the plan to inevitably harm Lebanon’s poorest as well as its middle class.