A short rant about why we should bother with government budgets
Jun 11, 2012
This blog has recently posted extensively on all manner of seemingly technical issues about government budgets. From whether rigid budget caps are a good thing to why Kenya’s National Hospital Insurance Fund should become more transparent. If you are not a budget wonk, this stuff can get confusing. So its time to explain why the International Budget Partnership obsesses about budgets, transparency, popular participation and all that stuff.
- There are enough resources in the world to eliminate poverty; the problem is the collection, distribution and management of these resources.
- Governments have a responsibility to raise and spend money to alleviate and eradicate such poverty and suffering.
- Too often governments don’t raise as much tax revenue as they could or they raise too much from poor people and not enough from the rich.
- And sometimes governments don’t allocate what money they do raise to programs that benefit the poor and the marginalized.
- Or they waste and divert what money they do allocate to the benefit the poor.
- When ordinary people and civil society organizations have access to the necessary skills, quality budget information and meaningful participation opportunities in government decisions, they will encourage and help governments to do a better job of raising, allocating and spending public funds.
- When governments do a better job of raising, allocating and spending public funds, much preventable poverty and suffering will be alleviated and eradicated.
- For this reason it is important to empower ordinary people and civil society; improve the quality budget information that is made public and improve and protect the avenues for popular participation in the government budget process.
If you think that any of these statements, or the multiple assumptions that sit behind them, are flapdoodle, tell us why. We are always ready for a good argument.