US Congress rules against user fees

11 August 2000

In July, the United States Congress passed legislation aiming to bar the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank from imposing “user fees” on primary health care and education on poor countries. This is the first time the House has demanded a change in a specific IMF-World Bank “structural adjustment” policy on the ground. The likely impact of this action is unclear, however, as the IMF often argues that it only “advises” governments on how they might meet its macroeconomic conditions such reducing budget deficits.