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Mr. Maximilien Queyranne, Mr. Wendell Daal, and Ms. Katja Funke
To provide policymakers in the Caribbean with a governance framework for improving infrastructure through Public-Private Partnerships (PPPs), while limiting their fiscal costs and risks for the government. And to showcase Canada support to FAD technical assistance in the region and FAD collaboration with CARTAC and the Caribbean Development Bank
Stephane Schlotterbeck
Over the past decade, governments in the Caribbean region have introduced the value-added tax (VAT) to modernize their tax system, rapidly mobilize revenue and reduce budget deficits. This paper analyzes VAT performance in the region and concludes that while it has boosted revenues, the VAT has not reached its potential. Intended as a broad-based tax with limited exemptions, a single rate and zero-rating confined to exports, the VAT’s design often lacks these characteristics. The paper also finds that although tax administration reforms can boost revenues, countries have just started to address organizational inefficiencies, data integrity issues, and operational ineffectiveness. These reforms need to intensify in order to have a more significant impact on compliance and revenue.
International Monetary Fund
This 2011 Article IV Consultation highlights that the difficult global economic conditions continue to hit Barbados with growth at anemic levels. The current account deficit has widened in recent times owing to higher oil and food prices. Executive Directors commended the authorities for adopting a revised Medium-Term Fiscal Strategy aimed at generating a balanced budget. They emphasized that fiscal consolidation should focus on expenditure reduction, including lowering the wage bill, reducing transfers to public enterprises, and minimizing tax exemptions.
Charles Amo Yartey
This paper uses the balance sheet approach to analyze macroeconomic vulnerabilities in Barbados between 2006 and 2009. It discusses the financial position of the economy and its main sectors and the sectors' exposure to changes in exchange rates. The main finding of the analysis is that the balance sheet of the aggregate economy has been weakened by the recent deterioration in the balance sheet of the nonfinancial public sector. Macroeconomic vulnerabilities have increased in Barbados since 2006 due to the high public debt and the deterioration in the net financial position with nonresidents. The private sector, however, maintained a healthy position and seems resilient to shocks. The paper also finds the balance sheet of the nonfinancial public sector has deteriorated significantly reflecting weak fiscal performance. While the central government is highly vulnerable to exchange rate shock, debt rollover risks are likely to be limited since most of external liabilities are long term and most domestic liabilities are held by the National Insurance System.
Mr. Alejandro D Guerson and Mr. Giovanni Melina
This paper proposes a fiscal policy framework we call Public Debt Targeting. The framework seeks to smooth primary spending over the business cycle while remaining consistent with public debt sustainability. Under the proposed framework, a government announces a commitment to a public debt band trajectory over the medium term, while sequentially announcing primary expenditures for the next budget cycle, which are determined recursively based on the history of shocks. Public debt targeting differs from a structural balance rule in that it internalizes the effect of the deterioration in creditworthiness from fiscal deficits and public debt accumulation, which tend to affect sovereign spreads, interest rates, exchange rates, and economic activity. The proposed framework is applied to Caribbean economies, which in general show high levels of public debt and procyclical primary expenditure.
International Monetary Fund
The objective of this paper is to analyze the growth performance of the ECCU countries since independence and the policy challenges they face to ensure sustained growth in the period ahead. Although tourism specialization may bring about higher growth, it could also increase volatility in growth by amplifying the impact of business cycles in source countries on the tourism sector. Low productivity growth is principally the reason for the slowdown in growth. High debt levels have been a major drag on growth.
International Monetary Fund
The sharp global recession has been taking a toll on the St. Kitts and Nevis economy. The staff report examines the St. Kitts and Nevis 2009 Article IV Consultation and request for Emergency Natural Disaster Assistance. Economic activity has weakened markedly, particularly in tourism and foreign direct investment (FDI)-related construction, the drivers of growth in recent years. The drop-off in tourism receipts, FDI, and other capital flows could lead to a worsening of the balance-of-payments position.
International Monetary Fund
CARTAC, the second of the regional technical assistance centers, was created with singular emphasis on ownership of technical assistance by the beneficiary countries. To this end, it was structured as a UNDP project with the IMF as Executing Agency and with a Steering Committee empowered to give strategic guidance to the program and select its senior staff from short lists provided by the IMF. With the spread of the RTAC modality, the IMF has sought to bring the Centers' activities within the ambit of overall resource planning for technical assistance, ensure consistency with the institution's view on priorities for technical assistance in the countries concerned, and tighten quality control through backstopping. This has created the potential for conflict with the relative independence that CARTAC has enjoyed from its inception. The conclusion in this report, however, is that alignment with the IMF does not necessarily undermine country ownership and that the Steering Committee can play a pivotal role in defusing any tension that may arise.
International Monetary Fund
CARTAC, the second of the regional technical assistance centers, was created with singular emphasis on ownership of technical assistance by the beneficiary countries. To this end, it was structured as a UNDP project with the IMF as Executing Agency and with a Steering Committee empowered to give strategic guidance to the program and select its senior staff from short lists provided by the IMF. With the spread of the RTAC modality, the IMF has sought to bring the Centers' activities within the ambit of overall resource planning for technical assistance, ensure consistency with the institution's view on priorities for technical assistance in the countries concerned, and tighten quality control through backstopping. This has created the potential for conflict with the relative independence that CARTAC has enjoyed from its inception. The conclusion in this report, however, is that alignment with the IMF does not necessarily undermine country ownership and that the Steering Committee can play a pivotal role in defusing any tension that may arise.
International Monetary Fund
This Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes assesses Fiscal Transparency for Barbados. The report reveals that Barbados has a number of good practices on fiscal transparency including a legal requirement to publish the budget Estimates, the annual report of the accountant general, and the annual Report of the auditor general as well as websites that provide data on budget outturn for current and previous years. The outturn prior to the budget year is provided alongside budget estimates, which are provided on a gross basis according to administrative, economic, program, and functional classifications.