The role of parliament in public debt management

Accountability and transparency
Public finances
Online event
The role of parliament in public debt management

The COVID-19 pandemic requires governments to respond to the health emergency and address the subsequent economic shock. Mitigating the effects of the pandemic requires financial resources at a time when the economic activities and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) are declining. As governments roll out economic recovery packages and borrow to compensate for the loss of revenues due to the crisis, the public debt in many countries is increasing sharply. The global economic crisis resulting from COVID-19 has pushed some countries closer to the edge and others over the cliff into debt distress.

In some countries, public debt is eating up government financial means and undermining implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). If rising debt costs are not addressed (restructured or reduced), new revenues will not give governments the fiscal space they need to strengthen healthcare systems, pursue women’s economic empowerment programs, ensure free public education through secondary school, or adapt infrastructure to mitigate for climate change, for example.

As parliaments have the power to oversee the budgetary measures adopted to mitigate the effects of the pandemic, they also have an urgent duty to scrutinize the increasing public debt. Often, parliaments and MPs have little information at hand on the public debt situation and strategy to tackle that debt. Parliaments should be provided with detailed information on the structure, sources and long-term estimated effects of debts as well as the conditions attached to credits and loans

26 November 2020
Online event
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