Welcome to the seventh episode of the Politics and Public Finance Podcast!
For this interview, I was joined by Dr. Peter Phillips, former Jamaican Minister of Finance and current Member of Parliament, and Michele Robinson, an independent public debt consultant.
Dr. Peter Phillips has served as a Member of Parliament for nearly three decades, and has occupied a number of senior government positions. Notably, Dr. Phillips was the Minister of Finance from 2012 to 2016, and held other significant posts including Minister of Health, Minister of Transport and Works, and Leader of the Opposition. Before entering politics, Dr. Phillips earned a PhD from the State University of New York-Binghamton and was a Lecturer at the University of the West Indies.
Michele Robinson brings over thirty years of public debt management experience to her practice as a public debt consultant, and she has worked with a wide range of notable international organizations, including: The World Band, the International Monetary Fund, the Inter-American Development Bank, and the Commonwealth Secretariat (among others). Her work has spanned the globe, with projects in Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Pacific, although her primary focus has been on the Caribbean. She is the author of a number of Commonwealth publications including Debt Transparency and Data Quality in the Caribbean.
Our conversation covers a number of important topics related to the current state of public debt in the Caribbean, the challenges posed by environmental and economic crises, and the difficulty of advocating for systemic change in public dent. We also discuss several significant aspects around the role of information in the public debt management conversation, in terms of ensuring informed civil society and media organizations, information accessibility for parliamentarians, and the educational role of experts.
Watch this episode of the Politics and Public Finance podcast on YouTube or listen to it on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favourite podcast provider. And stay tuned for future blog posts. Make sure to subscribe wherever you listen so that you can stay up to date on all our episodes!
PS – if you enjoyed today’s discussion on public debt management, be sure to check out the recent policy briefs in partnership with the National Democratic Institute and Westminster Foundation for Democracy: https://www.wfd.org/what-we-do/resources/policy-briefs-parliamentary-public-debt-management