Adopting a balanced-budget law would help establish as a baseline expectation that voters expect governments won’t spend more money than they have, said Macdonald-Laurier Institute Managing Director Brian Lee Crowley in an interview with BBC Radio.
Crowley says he’s sympathetic to concerns that legislating balanced budgets would hamstring governments in responding to unforeseen circumstances.
However he believes that the law could be constructed so that it keeps governments on track without pinning them down too much.
“If you put that rule in place, it gives government guidance about what the expectations are”, he says.
“It also gives the electorate and Parliament the chance to judge behaviour against certain norms or rules we think of as the bedrock assumption of economic or fiscal management”.
The United Kingdom’s government is currently planning to adopt balanced-budget legislation.
To listen to the interview, click here. It begins at the 1:40:35 mark.