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Country Report - Assignment Example

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Qatar and United Kingdom: A comparative study. (Emphasis on Fiscal policy and Inflation) United Kingdom (UK) and Qatar belongs to two different geographical spheres of the world. It is most likely that the economic and socio-economic scenario in both of these countries would be entirely different…
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Download file to see previous pages On the other hand, the discovery of oil in the 1940s transformed Qatar (O’Brien, 2010, p.412). At present, it has high standard of living with highest GDP per capita in the world as of 2010 of more than USD 88,000 (Greenfield, 2012). For the present paper a comparison of the fiscal policies and inflation rates of these two countries are considered. Furthermore, in the UK, during the regime of the labor governments, government’s size and spending grew significantly. Compounding the budget deficit Labor government bailout several British banks in 2008 and indulged in massive government’s borrowing (United Kingdom, 2013). In 2010, after formation of Prime Minister David Cameron’s Conservative–Liberal Democrat coalition government austerity measures were implanted rigorously. In early 2012, the economy returned to recession and growth averaged zero over the year as a whole. In its budget announcement of March 20, the UK govt. decided to stick to its deficit-reduction plan, which is broadly fiscally neutral (United Kingdom, 2013). UK Fiscal Policy and Inflation rate- UK Government’s fiscal plan is underpinned by a forward-looking fiscal mandate to achieve cyclically-adjusted current balance by the end of the rolling, five-year estimate period, as cited in the June Budget 2010. The fiscal mandate directs fiscal policy decisions over the medium term, ensuring that the Government sets plans steady with a reduction in the structural deficit. The fiscal mandate is based on: • A cyclically-adjusted aggregate, to allow some fiscal elasticity at times of economic uncertainty; • A rolling five-year forecast period, to ensure that fiscal consolidation is delivered over a realistic and probable timeframe; and • The current balance, to protect the most productive public investment expenditure. The establishment of Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) has significantly enhanced the credibility of the UK’s fiscal framework by ensuring that the Government’s fiscal policy decisions are based on independent forecasts for the economy and public finances (Copy of the Budget Report, 2013 p12). Figure-1  (Deficit, national debt and government borrowing - how has it changed since 1946? 2013) UK inflation has been above target since December 2009 and the central bank has quoted this as one reason for not resumption of its bond repurchase program. High inflation has had an erosive impact on the UK economy, reducing households’ disposable income Approximately a 40% rise in food prices and the impact of rising oil and commodity prices coupled with a weakening pound, plus hikes to VAT [sales tax] and tuition fees took a huge toll on the high street (Katrina, 2013). Figure-2  Source: United Kingdom Inflation Rate, 2013 Qatar’s Fiscal policy and inflation rate- While many advanced world economies were twirling under severe recession in the recent past, Qatar has taken head on, the global financial crisis, reflecting timely and focused policy response by the authorities. The considerable advancement of liquefied natural gas capacity, large government support to the banking system, and increase in public spending helped Qatar in sustaining high growth rates. Heavy investment in liquefied natural gas (LNG) production capacity and increases in LNG production over the last couple of years have been the main drivers of Qatar’s robust growth (Qatar Economic Statistics at a Glance, 2012,p.4) Figure-3  (Qatar Economic ...Download file to see next pages Read More
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