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PM tables inaugural Fiscal Strategy Report

Prime Minister Hubert Minnis has tabled the first Fiscal Strategy Report in the House of Assembly. (Stock photo)

Thursday, November 22, 2018
Thursday, November 22, 2018

Prime Minister Hubert Minnis has tabled the first Fiscal Strategy Report in the House of Assembly.

During the morning session November 21, the Prime Minister said: “Putting the nation’s fiscal house in order is a clear prerequisite to a more buoyant private sector and stronger job growth.”

According to the Prime Minister, such reporting serves the principles of transparency, accountability and good governance.

“We are also securing sustainable improvements in our medium- and long-term economic viability and health,” he said.

The Prime Minister said that his government has held firm to a commitment “to enshrine fiscal discipline as a core element of our innovative and transformative growth agenda”.

The government developed and introduced the Fiscal Responsibility Act, which came into effect on October 1 of this year.

A key objective of the Act is to improve fiscal transparency, and to ensure the accountability of policymakers.

“If our policymakers are to be accountable for the design and implementation of fiscal policy, then there must be mechanisms to ensure that both the public and Parliament are provided with comprehensive and timely information on the government’s fiscal intentions and performance,” the Prime Minister said.

Under the Act, a new key public reporting obligation is the preparation of an annual Fiscal Strategy Report (FSR) that is fully consistent with the fiscal responsibility principles, objectives and content established in the Act.

Also under the Act, Parliament is to debate the FSR and to inform the Minister of Finance, no later than January 31, of any recommendations on the report. The Minister may amend the FSR, as applicable, and table it in Parliament, and then publish it. The FSR will then set the parameters for the preparation of the Annual Budget.

“I remind the House that the FSR will also lay out the government’s medium term fiscal targets, detailing what deficit and debt positions are targeted,” the Prime Minister said

He added: “It will rightly provide the public financing benchmarks against which this House and the Bahamian people will pass judgment on the stewardship of the government in respect to the people’s money.”

“I firmly believe that this annual document will serve to greatly enhance the transparency and accountability of this and future governments in respect of the management of the fiscal affairs of our country.”

Prime Minister Hubert Ingraham presented proposed revisions to the dormant account legislative regime to the House of Assembly yesterday. Read the full proposal here.

A complete overhaul of legislation governing The Bahamas’ investment funds industry is nearing completion, announced Christina Rolle, executive director of the Securities Commission of The Bahamas at the annual briefing for the Bahamian securities and investment funds industries earlier this month.

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