ECCB governor calls for fiscal responsibility legislation

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Governor of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank (ECCB) Timothy Antoine is calling on the region’s peoples to demand that their governments put laws in place to protect their economies from external shocks.
He was speaking at the recent International Monetary Fund 2017 High Level Caribbean Forum in Jamaica. According to Antoine, the region’s vulnerability makes building resilience a priority, and he alluded to the destruction from September’s hurricanes.
Antoine said that the focus has to be on putting measures in place before a crisis strikes to ensure fiscal responsibility.
“You can be hit by a hurricane and some people take the argument, well, if you’re hit by a hurricane what’s the point of fiscal responsibility. But if I could use a cricketing analogy, you walk to the wicket to bat and you could be bowled first ball, but you have to give yourself a chance at the crease to be able to make runs, and the longer you stay the more likely you are to make runs.”
Fiscal responsibility, he added, gives countries the chance to respond to shocks.
“Is that the magic bullet? It is not, but in my estimation it is a must-do,” the ECCB governor stated.
But he noted that the mandate to go that route must come from the people since it involves legislative changes beyond the power of any government with a simple majority.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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