The Government will be entertaining several overseas experts on fiscal discipline next month as it consolidates efforts to establish a national fiscal council.
Minister of Finance and the Public Service Dr Nigel Clarke made the announcement yesterday morning at the Jamaica Pegasus hotel in New Kingston as he revealed plans by the Government to maintain fiscal responsibility after the end of Jamaica’s current agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“Cabinet approved it in April, I am making a speech in May and the experts will be here in June to meet with all stakeholders, and we hope to incorporate the Jamaican experience into the design of our fiscal council,” he stated.
Although fiscal rules are not considered a panacea, as they cannot guarantee fiscal sustainability, they have become a popular mechanism to anchor fiscal policy, infuse fiscal discipline, and promote credibility.
Adoption of these rules, particularly among developing countries, has increased in recent years. However, only Jamaica and Grenada have legislated fiscal rules in the Caricom region, with Jamaica doing so in 2010 and 2014, followed by Grenada in January 2016.
Dr Clarke explained yesterday that fiscal councils are “permanent, independent, non-partisan institutions, staffed by competent, experienced and technically proficient persons that help promote economically sustainable fiscal policies across political cycles and are created by legislation”.
He noted that, since the global financial crisis of 2008/2009, fiscal councils have proliferated across the globe as countries have sought to implement measures to restore and sustain fiscal credibility.