Magazine article Public Finance

Politics and Principles

Magazine article Public Finance

Politics and Principles

Article excerpt

It might be trite to observe that everything is political but, if there's one thing that change needs, it's political backing. So says Maltese finance minister Edward Scicluna (see page 26). Scicluna has an impressive track record in Malta, turning a €362m deficit in 2012 to a surplus of €8.8m in 2016 - something hailed by prime minister Joseph Muscat as an "economic miracle". And, to cap it off, Scicluna was recently voted the country's most popular politician - an accolade it's hard to imagine any of our UK chancellors of the exchequer enjoying. The Maltese minister laughs off his pop-star style popularity, but it certainly suggests a commitment to transparency and sound public finances can pay dividends with the public.

PF takes an international tour this issue, taking in experience from China to Zimbabwe. A common theme is the interplay between politics and public administration and how one can have a bearing on the other.

In Brazil, for instance, some world-leading progress on public participation, using citizen input to guide budgeting and service planning, is being compromised by political and economic realities (see page 34). A two-year recession, coupled with some high-profile political turmoil (president Dilma Rousseff was impeached last year and has been succeeded by fiscal conservative Michel Temer), threatens to stall this promising momentum. As one commentator notes, opening up budgeting decisions in a climate of austerity could "put the government in a lot of trouble".

In Zimbabwe, efforts are under way to help the troubled African state to return to the international community and CIPFA is supporting an International Federation of Accountants project to help it improve its public accountancy skills (see page 30). …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.