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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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Monitoring and managing the finances of sub-national governments

In most OECD countries, the finances of sub-national governments (SNGs) form a significant component of overall national finances. SNGs have also been significantly affected by the recent economic and financial crisis. This chapter discusses recent trends in the management of SNG finances and of fiscal relations across levels of government, including the main drivers of SNG debt levels, the limitations on SNGs’ capacity to improve their fiscal situation, the various types of fiscal rule and models such as “rainy day funds” that govern and stabilise SNG finances, and related issues and challenges for monitoring and managing SNG finances.

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