A new age for the Reserve – and budget-making, too
Christian Kerr writes:|
Dec 05, 2007 12:00AM |EMAIL|PRINT
The Fed does it. Crikey has been pushing for it for years. And now the RBA has issued the minutes of its last Board meeting.
We get to see at least some of the deliberations behind its decision making – we now get much greater transparency – but that’s not all. In a statement issued this morning the Reserve declared:
[T]he Board will release a short statement each month explaining its decision, whether or not the cash rate is to be changed…
Second, the Board’s decision will be announced shortly after the conclusion of the meeting. The earlier custom of waiting nearly 24 hours to announce the decision is no longer necessary from a logistical standpoint. Accordingly, commencing at the February 2008 meeting, the decision will be announced at 2.30 pm on the day of the meeting, with any change in the cash rate to take effect from the following day.
Third, the Board will release the minutes of its monetary policy meeting each month, two weeks after the meeting. The minutes record the main factual material available to the Board, the Board’s assessment of the policy issues, and the policy decision.
We will now get the results of the Board’s deliberations earlier, as well as detail of those deliberations. It all seems to be part of spirit of glasnost that’s blooming in Canberra.
Yesterday Wayne Swan put out his very first media release as Treasurer, calling for community input into the Budget and outlining a formal procedure for submissions:
Today I call on families, individuals, business and community groups to submit their ideas for the Government’s first Budget, as we go about meeting the big economic challenges Australia faces.
These challenges include fighting inflation, tackling climate change and securing water, making our workforce the most highly skilled in the world, lifting workforce participation and productivity in the face of an ageing population, delivering modern infrastructure and a world-class broadband network, and ending the blame game between federal and state governments.
They are challenges that can only be met by focussing squarely on the future, and investing in the productive capacity of the economy – that’s our priority.
Community views are critical considerations for the Government when forming its policies.
That is why I am seeking public submissions regarding priorities for the 2008-09 Budget…
Governments have always sought submissions on the Budget, but not in this sort of way. It’s all a good start, but these of course are the heady early days of the government.