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Budgeting for Personal Responsibility

A National Budget is basically a statement of a country’s Revenue and Expenditure over a period of a year with some indication of the government’s vision and intention behind both its financial allocations and revenue collection respectively. While it is accepted that a government can budget its financial resources, the deeper question is whether a government can budget for the personal responsibility that its citizens take for the collective good of the society.

A Minister of Finance can predict, in part, government revenue and expenditure but it is very difficult to predict an important part of the workings of an economy, that is, values such as honesty, integrity, civic mindedness and productivity. These are the post-budget resources of a country that a government cannot provide, or budget for, in its annual financial statement.

Instead, it is the citizens of a country who provide the values that would render a budget a ‘powerful’ or ‘powerless’ tool of national development. The success and failure of a government’s micro- and macro-economic policy is co-related to the responsibility that the average citizen takes for national development. This personal, social and civic responsibility cannot be legislated or forced. Citizens must freely take responsibility for development of their country.

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