Dylan Smith, a researcher in the banking and financial services division at Genesis Analytics, has won top honours in the postgraduate category of the 2013 Nedbank/Old Mutual Budget Speech Competition. The announcement was made on 27 February 2013 by the Minister of Finance, Pravin Gordhan, at a banquet following the presentation of the annual budget speech in parliament.
The Budget Speech Competition, now in its 42nd year, aims to promote critical economic dialogue among South African students.
Candidates in the yearlong competition are required to submit an essay addressing an important public policy issue related to the budget, and to participate in an interview with a panel of senior economists from both the National Treasury and the finance industry.
In the essay section of this year’s competition, postgraduate entrants were required to evaluate the success of postrecession countercyclical fiscal policy in South Africa, as well as to consider the tradeoff between the growing public wage bill and plans to increase investment in infrastructure. Each candidate also has to prepare a specific topic for discussion during the interview. Dylan’s topic related to the prioritisation of certain items in the National Development Plan (NDP) and to the influence of credit rating agencies in economic policy.
Further details about the competition, as well as the full text of Dylan’s essay, are available at www.budgetspeechcompetition.co.za