Restoring the public finances

October 6, 2020

For 12 years, governments around the world have worked to plug the holes torn in their balance sheets by the credit crunch and its painful after-effects. In many countries, it’s been an uphill battle: ageing populations require higher spending on public services; flat-lining earnings depress income tax receipts; the shift into a digital world weakens governments’ ability to tax economic activity.

Now a still more costly crisis has arrived, demanding vast levels of public spending as economies stall and tax revenues dry up. How can governments act to restore their public finances, while providing citizens with the services they need?

At this Global Government Forum webinar, senior leaders from civil services, international organisations and expert bodies discussed how governments can develop the policies, services and reforms that will enable countries to once again balance income and outgoings. What have we learned from our response to the financial crisis? How can civil servants improve efficiency and effectiveness in public spending? How should tax systems be remodelled to fit today’s world? And can nations both close budget deficits, and ensure that this virus – which hits the weakest hardest – doesn’t deepen existing inequalities?

As we move past crisis response, public leaders are left with a financial hangover: this webinar explored how to formulate a cure.


  • Webinar chair Siobhan Benita, former UK senior civil servant
  • Veiko Tali, Secretary General, Ministry of Finance, Estonia
  • Markus Sovala, Director General, Economic Policy Coordinator, Finland
  • Michael Flynn, Government & Public Services – Global Industry Leader, Deloitte Ireland LLP