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Wednesday, September 13, 2006 

Where does Fiscal Policy stand in the Development Process for the Caribbean?
In the eyes of many in the Caribbean adjustments in fiscal policies are fundamental to leverage, and strengthen the paths to development.

“One of the most significant issues which confront the countries of the Commonwealth Caribbean is the fiscal challenge which hinders our ability to sustain economic growth and the level necessary to support our development objectives”, said Prime Minister Douglas."

These are laudable comments, and viewed from a broad angle these issues are critical to be reckoned with due to the various dynamics that apply to fiscal policies, level of development and the rate of growth.

These questions are open to debates when we consider the facts liaised with the fiscal structures in developing nations and their strong reliance on international trade taxes. These elements call for effective assessments of such determinants in their impacts upon the scale of their economies, and public investments in infrastructures, social services (education, health).

It goes without saying that in the midst of such inquiries, the role of empirical research can be quite challenging given the difficulties that can be seen in the analysis of correlations between growth, and the effects of taxation mechanisms.

Nonetheless, as an interesting point of departure reviewing the terms of macroeconomic relations, budget surpluses/deficits, tax and spending policies can go a long way to provide policymaking with solid evidence of “What Works” in regards to medium or long-term economic growth.

BRIEF

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