Minister: Formation Of Fiscal Responsibility Panel

October 2, 2015

Deputy Premier and Minister of Finance Bob Richards today [Oct 2] announced the appointment of “three leading international experts in public policy finance” to serve as members of the newly created Fiscal Responsibility Panel.

“As mentioned in the Budget Statement, this Panel will increase transparency and international credibility by providing an independent, external report of the Government’s actual fiscal conduct against the fiscal rules established,” the Ministry said.

Minister Richards said, “I am pleased to announce that we have put in place a Fiscal Responsibility Panel to help tackle our looming fiscal challenges. This group will publish, on an annual basis, an independent report assessing the Island’s fiscal strategy, focusing on progress in meeting our medium term objectives for public spending, taxation, borrowing and debt reduction.”

“This initiative underpins remarks made by the Minister in his 2015/16 Budget Statement where he outlined the Government objective to balance the budget within three years.

Minister Richards said at the time: “To increase transparency and international credibility, Government intends to establish an international, independent committee to review, monitor, assess and publicly report on the fiscal progress of the Government.

“Several other islands have also adopted similar outside assessors and it has helped bolster credibility and confidence. The report prepared by this panel will be an input into the overall work to create a framework for financial stability policy in Bermuda.”

The Ministry said, “The Fiscal Responsibility Panel will be chaired by David Peretz, CB, an independent consultant on international financial issues who has worked in the UK Treasury, the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank, with particular experience in advising on strategic and economic issues affecting small countries.

“He is joined by Jonathan Portes, Director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, whose expertise covers a wide range of economic policy issues, including labour markets, skills, migration poverty, and international economic and financial issues and, Peter Heller, a 30 year veteran of the International Monetary Fund, professor and lecturer on public policy finance.

“Faced with the debt crisis and the Island’s largest budget deficit ever, the Government began two years ago to implement policies to improve Bermuda’s financial position and its international fiscal profile.

“The Panel is the latest step in that endeavour and will assess the Island’s progress toward achieving a balanced budget by 2019.

“Meeting the medium-term target means that by 2019, Bermuda would be paying for the operations and programs of the government and not increasing debt relative to the size of the economy.”

Minister Richards added, “We look forward to the Panel beginning its important work for the Bermudian people and for the first report to be published.”

Speaking for the Panel, Chairman Peretz said “We are pleased to be asked to take on this important role for Bermuda and look forward to producing our first report later this year.”

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Comments (6)

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  1. Terry says:

    Proactive.
    Good job Bob.

    Have to get out of this mess for our childrens sake.
    Shalom.

  2. Positive step says:

    a fresh unbiased set of eyes looking at things is a very good approach. Let’s hope this yields some contructive steps to get this country out of the mess it is in…agree with you Terry–for our children’s sake!

  3. kangoocar says:

    Let’s just hope the OBA gets re-elected, because if The majority of Bermudians are in fact stupid enough to put that irresponsible plp back in, the first thing that they will do is??? Get rid of this great move by the OBA because they have proven already, they don’t like anyone putting checks on their fiscal behavior??? Secondly, it will be getting rid of the Bermuda status for those that deserve it!!!!

  4. Lois Frederick says:

    I see the date of 2019 is now when Bob projects to have balanced the budget. As one of the most important issues the OBA was elected as Govt to fix let’s cross everything and hope the OBA win another term in 2017. If they don’t all bets are off. Bob is the man and this is yet another piece of the puzzle to get Bermuda’s financial house in order.

  5. Bermuda123 says:

    Well done. Great decision.

  6. Are we gonnah get fiscal then?….Bring it….it’s about time….come so.