Does PFM need to be rebuilt?

Contemporary public financial management (PFM) is, according to an emerging school of thought, in a parlous condition and needs a complete rebuild. I disagree. An influential recent formulation of the views of this school of thought can be found in the 2020 report Advice, Money, Results (AMR). This report issues a challenge to contemporary PFM […]

A Net Worth Rule: Higher Debt for Higher Investment?

Yet another call for governments to abandon debt limits and focus instead on net worth! This time it’s in the United Kingdom, where an influential think tank, the Resolution Foundation, has proposed the replacement of the country’s debt rules with “a target to see net worth improving.” This is a bad idea that must be […]

Ending the Confusion on Medium-Term Expenditure Ceilings

Expenditure ceilings are a key instrument for achieving the objectives of medium-term budgeting. This is why the question of how to set appropriate and workable expenditure ceilings has been a major focus of public financial management over the past two decades. Erroneous notions as to what constitutes best practice in ceiling-setting have, however, been a […]

Making Spending Review Fit for Purpose

Spending review, as I wrote recently, will be needed more than ever in the post-pandemic era. Surely, then, it is encouraging that there has over the past decade been a major expansion in the number of countries practicing spending review? Well, yes, but there is a problem. The problem is that in some countries, the […]

“Bigger Government” Podcast

To mark the publication today of Bigger Government: The Future of Government Expenditure in Advanced Economies, I am releasing a two episode podcast. The podcast is can be heard by clicking on this link, or may be heard on any of the main podcast directories (Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Castbox, Stitcher, Listen Notes etc). Episode 1 […]