In accordance with the requirements of the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2018, the Ministry of Finance publishes an annual Fiscal Strategy Report every November that outlines the mediumterm macroeconomic and fiscal outlook of the country. This document serves as a guide for the Government's preparation of the Annual Budget for each budget cycle.
The 2021 FSR is the fourth such report to be submitted to Cabinet and Parliament under the Act. As per section 10 of the Act, the Minister of Finance is required to prepare and submit a Fiscal Strategy Report (FSR) to Cabinet, for approval no later than the 1st Tuesday of November of each f iscal year, in this case November 2, 2021. On approval, the FSR is to be presented to both Parliament and the Fiscal Responsibility Council by the 3rd Wednesday of November (i.e., November 17, 2021) for their review and recommendations.
As a result of the September 16, 2021 General Elections which saw a change in administration, a Supplementary Budget was tabled in the House of Assembly on October 27, 2021. Further, on November 15, 2021 Parliament was prorogued until November 29, 2021 when debate on the Supplementary Budget commenced. On November 18, 2021 the Government issued a public notice advising that the 2021 FSR would be presented to both Parliament and the Fiscal Responsibility Council immediately after debate of the 2021 Supplementary Budget to allow for inclusion of the most current budgetary information in the fiscal forecasts.
The Government tabled the Fiscal Strategy Report in the House of Assembly this morning, in keeping with the requirements set out by the Fiscal Responsibility Act, 2018. The government’s fiscal strategy over the next few years focuses on securing economic resilience beyond the coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) and accelerating the pace of the economic recovery.
“Our fiscal strategy looks at the macroeconomic picture over the next three to five years. It starts with where we are today in terms of our economic growth prospects our current spending ability, capacity to generate revenue, and debt levels. Today, these are all defined by the two unprecedented external shocks that rocked the nation of over the past 14 months,” said Senator Kwasi Thompson, Minister of State for Finance.
“The fiscal strategy charts the course forward for where we want to be in the next few years. It outlines how the Government’s plans to achieve fiscal sustainability as quickly as possibility, including policy actions to accelerate the pace of economic growth and key fiscal adjustments to mitigate risks. The importance of the fiscal strategy to our economic develop cannot be overstated for strong, structured and disciplined fiscal management underpins our economic viability,” said Minister Thompson.
The Prime Minister advised Parliament on November 18 about the status of the 2020 Fiscal Strategy Report, which the government is required to present to the House of Assembly by the third Wednesday in November. Given the unprecedented times, the Government decided to take extra diligence in crafting its strategies, making use of the most current fiscal information about the planned reopening of tourism in November to inform critical policy deliberations about the FSR.