commission on fiscal imbalance 合集

In his view it is important to respect the

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Unformatted text preview: 5). It is also worth quoting extensively from David Collins’ paper in this regard. In his view, it is important to respect the constitutional jurisdictions of the federated order of government to ensure that the economic and social gains inherent in decentralization are realized: The basis for the belief in federalism is the existence of different preferences, for types and levels of public services and taxes, in different areas of the nation. […] A unitary nation, with a single central government (which has local government directly under its constitutional control) will be largely constrained to provide common levels of service at common tax levels. The implementation of uniform 7 8 2 See Richard Bird (1993a, 1993b), quoted by Guy Gilbert (p. 227) for a discussion of the differences between the economic framework of analysis that assumes (implicitly or explicitly) that regional and local administrations are agents of the central power and the so-called federal finance framework of analysis that recognizes that, in a true federation, “altering jurisdictional boundaries or assignments is seldom an easily accessible policy instrument; rather it is a constraint that can be altered only with considerable cost and difficulty” and that the negotiations therein take place between equal partners (Bird 1993b, p. 294). In practice, here, we will be concerned with the federal finance framework of analysis, which is more appropriate for the study of federations, unless the context suggests otherwise. Robert Ebel refers to the objectives of economic stability, sustainable growth, and provision of basic public services equitably across people and jurisdictions. Commission on Fiscal Imbalance policies across areas of disparate preferences will […] have substantial efficiency implications. This arises from the fact that the provision of a common level of services funded by common taxes will lead to underprovision of services in some areas compared with what those communities would prefer, and overprovision in others. […] In a federal system, on the other hand, the individual states can provide service levels according to that community’s preferences. Some states will choose to have high expenditure/high tax policies. Others will choose policy mixes of low expenditures and low taxes. […] There are various reasons why provision of some types of public service by sub-national jurisdictions will better match consumer preferences than provision by the national government: With a multilevel system of government, politicians may have a better knowledge of voters’ preferences; decentralisation of government may lead to better control of public officials, because the ratio of elected representatives to public officials is higher; electors in sub-national jurisdictions are more likely to be aware of the costs of the provision of public services and so are more likely to make rational decisions about appropriate levels of public service provision. These decisions are not obscured by 9 cross-...
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