Good governance

Workshop A

A: Inter-governmental finance

The Utrecht Declaration detected a general contraction in local government revenues, frequently with a simultaneous growing demand for expenditure, particularly on social assistance and debt service. It predicted that this squeeze would continue in the short term due to cutbacks in national government support, time lags in revenue decline and increasing demand to support economic recovery and to address demographic change. It also noted that the assignment of more volatile tax bases, such as corporate profits and value added, to local governments with a high degree of regular operational commitments deserved reconsideration. It nonetheless cast doubt on the capacity of national budgets to offer local government increased budget support, except for short- term fiscal stimulus, as they tended to be under even greater strain.

The workshop will discuss to what extent changes are being made or considered in:

the assignment of revenue sources to local government,

the scope or scale of local expenditure responsibilities,

the volume and distribution of inter-governmental transfers and shared revenues,

the freedom of local authorities to vary the incidence and rates of their taxes and charges,

access to credit.

It will also appraise the quality of dialogue and negotiation between national and local government over these issues.

Presentations and accompanying texts

Questions on intergovernmental finance - by Sorin Ionita

Good local and regional governance in turbulent times”: the challenge of change in Germany - presentation by Paul Bernd Spahn
- Accompanying paper

Finland - economic survey 2010 - presentation given by Markku Mölläri

- Accompanying paper

Local Government Finance System in Serbia - how to get through the crisis - presentation by Aleksandar Bućić

- Accompanying paper