Improving equality and reducing poverty

Social mobility in Chile is low. In order to promote equality of opportunity, there are a number of steps Chile should consider taking. The most important is the reduction of different forms of inequality, including current income inequality and inequality in access to quality education. The evidence from OECD countries also suggests that interventions targeted at improving childhood outcomes are desirable. • There is ample scope for mobilising labour supply among groups of workers currently under-represented in the labour market. The training and job-search requirements the government is planning to introduce as conditions of the new Ethic Family Income programme will promote the mobilisation of extra labour supply, provided that adequate assistance can be given to disadvantaged workers. The existing service infrastructure has been inadequate to help many of them get into paid employment, which is a condition for any sharp reduction of poverty. Chile needs to continue its investment in the infrastructure of service provision (e.g. training of social workers and employment service staff). • Government plans to adapt the Social Protection Record to accurately measure current income changes and to design supplementary tools to measure shortterm income changes will enable better targeting and improve incentives to work. Efforts in this direction should be reinforced. • Achieving whole-of-government policy outcomes for social policy programmes will require effective collaboration and co-ordination on policy development, implementation and evaluation between stakeholder ministries and ministers and with the proposed Ministry of Social Development. This will require strong leadership from the President’s Office, the Budget Office and effective leadership within the new ministry.

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