The National Economic Dialogue provides an opportunity to consider how to make best use of the available resources in the interests of all citizens and is an important annual part of the budgetary process. The Dialogue facilitates a responsive, transparent and inclusive debate among relevant stakeholders about the challenges facing the economy and the options for the allocation of public resources.
The aim is to ensure an appropriate balance between the relevant stakeholders to facilitate discussion of budgetary issues affecting a broad social spectrum. To this end, representatives of community, voluntary and environmental groups as well as business, trade unions, research institutes, the media, the diaspora and members of the Select Committee on Budgetary Oversight participate in the discussions.
The list of participants in the Dialogue is chosen to achieve the desired balance. The list is reviewed annually and is approved by me as Minister for Finance and Public Expenditure and Reform in advance of each year’s dialogue.
I believe the National Economic Dialogue is a very constructive exercise. Decisions that have been made on the content of previous budgets have been influenced by previous Dialogues and I intend to reflect on this year’s discussion when formulating Budget 2020.