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The State of Public Finances 2015

Strategies for Budgetary Consolidation and Reform in OECD Countries

image of The State of Public Finances 2015

For most countries in the OECD, 2015 is the seventh or eighth year of dealing with the budgetary consequences of the economic and financial crisis. These years have been marked by challenges of fiscal retrenchment of a scale and nature unprecedented in modern times. Previous OECD publications have tracked the fiscal policy responses adopted by OECD governments during the early years of the crisis (2007-2012). This book takes stock of how these responses have evolved and in recent years, up to 2014/15. Two points are apparent from the outset: the response to the crisis has had repercussions for virtually every aspect of budgetary governance; and there are clear lessons for governments about the conduct of fiscal policy – including in its institutional aspects – that should inform future decisions and the agenda of budgetary reform.

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Foreword

The State of Public Finances 2015 provides a record of the strategies pursued by OECD countries to correct, consolidate and stabilise their public finances in the period to 2015, and in particular of how these strategies have evolved over the entire period of the economic and financial crisis from 2007-08 onwards. The report also provides an insight into the future plans for public finances over the coming years. Importantly, the report does not confine itself to the challenges of managing public finances, but encompasses a broad range of related policy themes including: the use of fiscal rules, the strategies adopted in various countries to sustain economic growth during fiscal consolidation, the developing role of independent fiscal institutions, how the role of parliaments and citizens in budgeting has been affected, and the degree to which fiscal consolidation has been accompanied by broader-based budgetary reforms.

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