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  • Geoff Mulgan

Public finance for the long-term

I've been working over the last year on a new framework for public finance - helping it to cope with long-term tasks, such as education, R&D, health and adapting to net-zero. The timing was terrible - since governments' time horizons were shrinking dramatically with the COVID-19 crisis. But hopefully now attention is once again turning to the long-term.


The project was done with Demos Helsinki for the Global Innovation Council hosted by UAE. In the report we show that there has been relatively little innovation in public finance over the last two decades; that there are, however, a range of tools that can be adapted for the better organisation of public money. We also look at new ways of using data and AI which will allow much more intelligent use of finance in the future, making sense of the links between money and results.


I coined the title 'Anticipatory Public Budgeting' to summarise the idea of being prepared for the future, and to complement the work I did a few years on 'Anticipatory Regulation' much of which has now been adopted by governments around the world. My hope is that these ideas on finance will similarly become mainstream before long. It's quite a specialist field (dull to some!) but as hundreds of billions of our money pours out of governments it matters a lot. We're launching on Thursday 27 May with an event bringing together Finland, Brazil and UAE.

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The full report can be found here: https://gic.mbrcgi.gov.ae/storage/post/4RDIYHad89Y93eamZd8eVAnfhRTRCdn6vNVJgdXS.pdf