PETER ATTARD MONTALTO: So much need for stimulus, so little room to move
The government has not set aside enough funds for a rainy day, and coronavirus now adds severe external shocks
This is why you run a conservative fiscal policy with only moderate debt to GDP. This is why you undertake structural reform swiftly when you have the chance and have a dynamic economy with healthy companies that can adapt to shocks and bounce back quickly.
For years there has been a halfhearted discussion about the fact that the fiscus needed to be consolidated for a rainy day. Looking through all the concerns about misallocated expenditure and revenue buoyancy problems, at a more fundamental level the fiscus has not been where it needs to be for an emerging market that is susceptible to global shocks against the background of exceptionally weak (and weakening) domestic fundamentals.