This Statement by the CESCR brings attention to the challenge of austerity in the context of Economic, Social and Cultural Rights. The Committee has observed over recent years the pressure on many States parties to embark on austerity programmes, sometimes severe, in the face of rising public deficits and poor economic growth. Decisions to adopt austerity measures are always difficult and complex. At the heart of the Covenant is the obligation on States parties to respect, protect and fulfil economic, social and cultural rights progressively, using their maximum available resources to achieve incremental improvements in universal access to basic goods and services such as health care, education, housing, social security and cultural life. In such cases of austerity, the Committee emphasizes that any proposed policy change or adjustment has to meet certain requirements including that it must be temporary, necessary and proportionate, non-discriminatory and that it must protect the minimum core content of rights.