This chapter tries to read, identify and evaluate previous studies on fiscal policy.
According to Author Smithies, fiscal policy is “a policy under which the government uses its expenditure and revenue programmes to produce desirable effects and avoid undesirable effects on the national income, production and employment” .Otto Eckstein defines fiscal policy as changes in taxes and expenditures which aim at short-run goals of full employment and price-level stability” (Jhingan 1997:646). Iyoha (2007), defines fiscal policy as the use of changes in government expenditure and taxes to influence the level of GNP and other aggregate economic variables.
Byrne, and Stone (1992), defined fiscal policy as the use of government spending and tax policies to stimulate or contract macroeconomic activity.
Fiscal policy is the use of government taxing and spending powers to effect the behaviour of the economy. Fiscal policy refers to government action to change the total or composition of these revenues and expenditures in order to manage growth of demand in the economy. The objective is to keep a growing labour force and the country’s stock of industrial plants and machinery employed at relatively high levels but without generating inflation or having to rely on excessive foreign borrowing to pay for imported goods.
The traditional view of fiscal policy emphasized the direct impact of government revenue and spending on aggregate demand. Although, it was recognized that some tax and expenditure changes affect the economy more than others, the government budget balance was used a rough indicators of the impact of the government on aggregate demand. Initially, it was though that government surpluses were associated with depressed economic activity and deficits with a high level of output and employment. Eventually, as economic reality disproved these simplistic notions, a more changes in the balance of government revenue and expenditures to changes in aggregate demand.
The various definitions of fiscal policy tend to one thing. Fiscal policy is the manipulation of government spending and taxation which aim at achieving the macroeconomic goals like full employment price stability, equilibrium balance of payment.
Taxation is a non-punitive but yet compulsory levy by the government on properties and income of individuals and corporations (Ugwuanyi, 2004:35). Perhan (1961) noted that taxation was also used as a means of stimulating hard work and discouraging indolence. Taxation therefore remains the only effect financial instrument for reducing private consumption and investment and transferring resources to government for economic development. O the other hand, public expenditure is the beginning and end of the collection of revenue by the government (Ugwuanyi, 2004:15). Anyanwu (1997) defined public service by the activities of the federal, State and local government levels. As pointed out by “Public expenditure and aim of collection of revenues and of our financial activities of the statement”. Government expenditure can be seen as the absorption of resources by the public sector. The public sector, broadly defined as that portion of the national economy in which economic and non-economy activities are under the control and general direction of the state (federal, state and local governments).
The major components of fiscal policy are expenditure and taxation. Government expenditure includes all capital and re-current expenditures. Taxation on the other hand is made up direct and indirect taxes. Direct tax is a tax levied upon a person who, as far as possible, shifts the burden ie impact and incidence to other people (Ugwuanyi, 2004:39).
2.1 The Instrument of the Fiscal Policy
To understand the influence of government on the economy, it is usual to start by examining the budget (Iyoha, 2004:39). It implies that the major instrument of fiscal policy is government budget. The budget shows, inter alia, the receipts and expenditures of the government in, say, a given year (Iyoha, 2004:130). Ugwuanyi (2004;23) opines that a budget is a document which proposes revenues and expenditures on ‘items and purposes” like salaries, equipment and travel as well as housing, health and education. Budget is the estimates of government expenditure and revenue in a fiscal year (usually a year).
Government spending as a fiscal instrument serves useful roles in the process of controlling inflation, unemployment, depression, balance of payment equilibrium and foreign exchange rate stability. In the period of depression and unemployment, government spending causes aggregate demand to rise and production and supply of goods and services follow the same direction. As a result, the increases in the supply of goods and services couple with a rise in the aggregate demand exalt a downward pressure on unemployment and depression.
In the case of persistent rise in price (inflation) and the depreciation in the value of money, it is expected that reduction in government expenditures discourages aggregate demand and inflation and falling in the value of exchange rate are controlled. It is worth to note that these two tools may be adopted simultaneously in the economy. A rise in the government expenditure has the same effects as a reduction in the tax rates on aggregate demand. Similarly, the effects of a reduction in the government expenditures are the same as increases in tax rates.
The budget could be balance budget deficit budget, or surplus budget depending on the target of the government. The federal government operates a balanced budget when its tax-revenues and outlays exceed revenues, and a budget surplus if tax revenues exceed outlays (Byrne and Stone, 2007).
To assess the impact of government on the economy, we usually start by finding out if there is a budget surplus or budget deficit. A budget deficit is expansionary and an increase in budget surplus is contractionary. Suppose the aim of government is counter-cyclical fiscal policy. It implies that in a period of slack the government should run (or increase) a budget deficit, that is, it should increase government expenditure or reduce taxes or both. If demand is excessive, the government should run (or increases) a budget surplus, that is, should lower government spending or raise taxes or both.
2.2 Administration of Taxation in Nigeria
The constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria (1979) as amended in 1999 provides that the federal government shall have exclusive legislative powers over such matters as: taxation of incomes, profit and capital gains, value added tax, customs and excise duties, export duties, mines and minerals and stamp duties.
There are three main bodies for administration of tax in Nigeria, namely: joint tax Board (JTP), Federal Board of Inland Revenue (FBIR), State Board (JTB) in Nigeria is charged with the basic functions of administrating income tax under the Income Tax Management Act of 1961 (ITMA) as amended up to date (Ugwuanyi, 2004:44). The powers and duties of the board (JTB) as stipulated by the act are: to exercise the powers and duties centered on it by the express Provision of the Income Tax Management Act (ITMA). To exercise powers and duties conferred on it by the enactment of the Federal government imposing tax on the income and profits of companies, to advise the federal government on request in respect of computations etc.
The State Board of Internal Revenue is concerned with the function of assessment of personal income tax of all those residing in the state, collection and accounting for the personal income tax of all those residing in the state, collation and accounting for the personal income tax of individuals in the state with the exception of the members of the police force, Armed forces and the personnel of the external Affairs collection and accounting for taxes from partnership business, collection and accounting for taxes on profits of individuals made trade, business, profession or vocation. The Federal Board of Inland Revenue (FBIR) headed by the Chairman of board who is also the director of federal Inland Revenue Department, is charged with assessment, and administration of company tax, tax on members of the armed forces, tax on diplomas etc.
Some economists do not believe that fiscal policy has any impact on the economy (Nigerian economy inclusive). One group makes the extreme claim that any deterioration in the budget balance has to be financed by government borrowing, and that this borrowing in turn represents future taxes that rational consumers will take into account in the same way as current taxes by curtailing their spending. This offsets fully any impact of an expansionary fiscal policy on the economy. Another group points out that the increase in government borrowing resulting from an expansionary fiscal policy will compete with private borrowers for funds, driving interest rate and the exchange rate up and making private investment and exports more costly. Again, this offset some of the original expansionary impact of the policy (The Canadian Encyclopedia).
Keynes (1936), Opines that fiscal policy affects economic growth. He was the first to suggest that fiscal policy would be the most effective tool for economic stabilization. He continued by suggesting that government should adopt expansionary fiscal policy during depression and contractionary fiscal policy during inflation period.
Halima (2007), carried out an empirical investigation on the “Impact of Fiscal Policy on the Nigerian economy covering the period 1970 to 2005 she regressed Gross Domestic product on total government expenditure and Federally Retained Revenue using OLS technique. She came out with the coefficient of correlation to be 0.170 and adjusted R-square to be 0.030. The multiple suggests that there is a positive relationship between the dependent variable (GDP) the explanatory variables (expenditure and retained revenue). The adjusted R2 of -0.030 suggests that 3 percent of the total change in Gross Domestic product in Nigeria is attributed to changes in the explanatory variables. Hence, the study implies that changes in government expenditure and taxes have impact on Gross Domestic product.
Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Study covering the period of 1983-2002 discovered that an increase in the size of federal government leads to slower economic growth. The study implies that government expenditure and taxes are negatively related, that is, the higher the size of government, slower the economic growth rate.
Jhingan (1997:660), says that fiscal policy plays a dynamic role in development countries. He continued by noting down the roles of fiscal policy as: increasing the rate of investment, encouraging socially optimal investment, increasing employment opportunities, promoting economic stability, contracting inflation and increasing and redistributing national income.
A research from European commission (EC) specifically explained that positive effects of fiscal balance are due to smaller government. They reported that “Fiscal adjustments based on expenditure cuts rather than tax increases have expansionary effects”, and an impact on output of budgetary consolidation depends on whether it takes place on the revenue or expenditure side. Thy continued by adding that tax increases are likely to have a negative impact on output both in the short and medium run.
National Chamber Foundation study by two George Washington University economists found: The empirical results based upon three sets of international data consistently reveal a negative and sadistically significant relationship between the scale of government and economic activity. This finding according to them holds for all levels of government as well as all types of government spending (Mitchell, 2005).
Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), admitted that taxes and government expenditures affect growth both directly and indirectly through investment.
Ahmed (1986), found a negative effect of the growth of government consumption as a fraction of GDP. They found the co-efficient of correlation to be -0.032. The co-efficient of -032 is highly significant, it implies that a one standard deviation increase in government spending reduces average GDP growth by 0.32 percentage points. Hence, government spending and economic growth are negative related.
Fatas and Mihov (2001), from the London centre for economic policy research reports that “The effects of government spending on economic activity derive from the fact that the government absorbs resources and thus has a negative effect on the representative’s agent’s wealth’. The implication of the study means that government negatively affects economic growth. A Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas study explained that in government spending leads to slower economic growth.
Blanchard and Perotti in “An Empirical characterization of the Dynamic effect” found that both increases in taxes and increases in government spending have a strong negative effect on private investment spending. This effect is consistent with a neo-classical mode with distortionary taxation, but more difficult to reconcile Keynesian theory. Engen and Skinner (1992), in national Bureau of Economic research (NBER) found empirically using data on growth rates over the period 1870 to 1984 suggest a significant and negative impact of government fiscal activity on output growth rates in both the short-term and the long-term. An article from the journal of money, credit in United States explained that “a permanent increase in share of government reduces social welfare. When government spending is financial with an income tax, permanent increase in spending reduces the long-run growth rate. The same result applies when the spending increase is financial only with wage income taxes. An article in the Quarterly journal of Economics reported that the ratio of real government consumption expenditure to real GDP had a negative association with growth and investment. They continued that growth is inversely related to the share of government consumption in GDP, but insignificantly related to the share of public investment.
Grier and Tullock (1990), in journal of political economy carried out empirical analysis on government spending and economic growth. They covered 115 countries, using data on government consumption and other variables. They found a significant negative relationship between the growth of real GDP and the growth of the government share of GDP. Landau (1983), studied 104 countries on a cross-sectional basis he found significantly negative relations between the growth rate of real GDP per capital and the level of government consumption expenditures as a ratio to GDP. Barth and Bradley found a negative relation between the growth rate of real GDP and the share of government consumption spending for 16 OFCD countries in the period of 1971 to 1983.
Gwartney (1998), a member joint economy committee in USA congress reports that there is clearly observable negative relationship between size of government and long-term growth of real GDP. He (Gartney) empirically investigated his assertion using least square regression technique. The slope of the regression line was -0.1 (minus 0.1) indicates that 10 percentage point increase in government expenditure as a share of GDP leads to approximately a one percentage point reduction in economic growth. A study from the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas concluded that tax increases that reduce the deficit are contractionary whereas spending cuts that accomplish the same goal are expansionary. The study also noted that growth in government stunts general economic growth. Increase in government spending or taxes lead to persistent decreases in the rate of job growth. An European commission study also reported that fiscal consolidations obtained through expenditure cuts may increase short run investments, and a similar effect would be obtained by means of reductions in government transfers.
Bartolini et al (1995), writing for the centre for economic policy research, explains that those countries which rely primarily on expenditure cuts are projected to enjoy output gains from their adjustment over the long run, while those countries relying mainly on labour and capital taxes are projected to suffer output losses. The study implies that decrease in government expenditure favours long-term economic growth, while increase in taxes (Income taxes) distorts long-run growth. Joint economic committee also reports that through excessive spending, the government negatively affects the long-run economic growth rate in free economy. Government spending reduces labour form participation, increases unemployment, and reduces productivity.
Guesh (1997), reported, “That growth in government size is negatively associated with economic growth”. Interestingly, the study also found that the negative effects of increase in government size are greater in non-democratic socialist system than in democratic market systems.
Alesina and Perotti (1994), members national Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) in United States reported that an increase in redistribution to the retires financed by an increase an the income tax rate leads to an increase in the price of exportable goods, a decrease in competitive, an increase in the relative price of nontaxable, provided the elasticity of substitution between goods is sufficiently high, a decrease in employment in both sectors. An increase in redistribution to the unemployed, regardless of how financed, leads to same. Alesina et al (1999), find a sizable negative effect of public spending-and in particular public wage component-on business investment. The effects of government spending on investment are larger than the effects of taxes. The study also stated that in organization for economic co-operation and development (OECD) countries changes in fiscal policy have important effects on private business investment. Interestingly, the strongest effects arise from changes in primary government spending and, especially, government wages.
Folster and Henrekson (2001), in European economic review, empirically investigated the relationship between government expenditure and economic growth. They reported that an increase in the expenditure by ratio of 10 percent of government expenditure is associated with an annual growth rate that is 0.7 percentages lower.
Engen and Skinner (2000), in fiscal policy and economic growth, found that government spending rather than tax rates have the greatest long-term negative impact on private sector productivity, and that government spending and taxation both reduce the productivity of labour and capital although the interacted taxation co-efficient are not jointly significant at the 5 percent level. They empirically justified their assertion by using a sample of 107 countries during the period 1970 to 1985 they found a strong and negative effect in both government spending and taxation on output growth. A balanced budget increase in government spending and taxation of say 10 percentage points was predicated to decrease long-term growth rates by 1.4 percentage points. Hence, the study implies a negative relation between economic growth and expenditure, and taxation.
Tanzi and Shuknecht (1997), Members of International MonetaryFund (IMF) staff confirmed that average growth for 5-years period was higher in countries with small government in both periods. The unemployment rate, the share of the shadow economy, and the number of registered patents suggests that small government exhibit more regulator efficiency and have less of a inhibiting effect on the functioning of labour markets, participation in the formal economy, and the innovativeness of the private sector. Hence, the study implies that growth in government expenditure reduces economic growth.
However, many economists argued that reduction in government expenditure leads to economic growth. They argued that reducing the budget deficit is a way to economic growth. The theory works as follows: a lower budget deficit leads to lower interest rates, lower interest rates leads to increase in investment, more investment leads to higher productivity, and higher productivity means more economic growth.
Analysis and appraisal of fiscal policy development during the structural adjustment programme
The budget deficit as a percentage of GDP which stood at 2.3% in 1985 increased to 10.6% in 1986 but plummeted to 5.5% in 1987. it rose to 7.1% in 1988. The deficit/GDP ratio thereafter declined to 6.7% in 1986, but rose further to 8.5% in1990, even though oil revenue rose sharply in that year following the Gulf Crises. This contrasted with the 3.0% ratio target for the programme. The deficit/GDP ratio increase significantly in 1991 and recorded a peak level of 15.4% in 1993. it declined to 7.9% in 1994, while a provisional surplus has been projected for 1995. Interest rate payment on external and domestic debt obligations contributed significantly to the domestic problem as it constituted well over 50% total expenditure outlay. Federally collected revenue was derived mainly from petroleum receipt, customers and excise taxes and company income taxes. Oil revenue came principally from export sales, although a significant share was also derived from a domestic sale. Three main factors were responsible for the increase in revenue during 1986 to 1990. These include the devaluation of currency as required IMF which boosted the naira value of the oil export in 1986 and 1987. Another 50% depreciation of the naira exchange rate reinforced by higher export prices associated with the Gulf war in 1990 boosted revenue further. The increase in revenue from custom and excise duties was attributed almost entirely to the exchange movements, while the dependant revenue rose due to proceeds from the privatization programme. On three occasion, the domestic petroleum product prices were revised upward boosting oil revenue from domestic sales. The federally retained revenue which accrued only to the federal government increased persistently as its share in GDP increase from 10.9% in 1986 to 14.6% in1990. Therefore, the ratio declined although, the absolute levels of retained revenue were still moving upwards.
Total expenditure of federal government as a percentage of GDP rose from 22.2% in 1986, remained at about 20.0% in 1987 through 1989 and went up to 23.5% in 1990. It averaged 18.7% between 1991 and 1995. Primary expenditure that is, total expenditure less interest payment on debt dropped from 22.2% of GDP in 1986 respectively. It continued the decline up to 1992 before increasing to 14.7% in 1993. It was estimated to decline in 1994 and 1995. On the other hand, the interest expenditure rose from 4.1% of GDP in 1986 to 19.1% of GDP in 1990, as the federal government assumed responsibility for the state and local government external debt service obligation. Interest expenditure therefore absorbed over 40% of the federal budget between 1989 and 1995.
The greatest change of fiscal development to the monetary authorities was the financing of the federal deficit while seeking to maintain monetary balance. Except in 1987, when there was significant external inflow arising from rescheduling credit from the Paris club, the bulk of the resources for financing the deficit came from the domestic banking system, particularly the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN). The CBN financial on the average about 80 percent of annual fiscal deficit between 1991 and 1994.
2.3 Limitations of Previous Studies
Many researchers had empirically investigated the relations between economic growth and fiscal policy (expenditures and taxes). They came up with various results that does totally synchronize with the interest of the researcher.
Ndayako (2007), empirically investigated that 3 percent variation in GDP (period 1970-2005) is caused by variations in expenditure and taxes. The result is significant considering the proportion of changes in GDP explained by the explanatory variables.
Many other researches shows that budget deficit leads to economic growth. They opined that deficit budget leads to low interest rates, low interest rates leads to high investment rate, high investment rate leads to high productivity, and higher productivity means more growth in the economy. The above assertion is over stated because not only fiscal policy determines interest rate. Interest rate is determined by other factors such as money supply and other factors.
PRESENTATION AND ANALYSIS OF RESULTS
The variables considered in the estimated model are Domestic Investment (dependent variable) and the independent variables; Company Income Tax (CIT) and Value Added Tax (VAT). It covers the period of years 1994-2010.
4.1 PRESENTATION OF RESULTS
This research work employed the use of multiple regression model based on Ordinary Least Square (OLS) method.
Modeling LOG(INV) by OLS
LOG(INV) = 6.285 – 0.021 LOG(CIT) + 0.569 LOG(VAT)
T* = (6.486) (-0.714) (8.758)
S.E = (0.969) (0.029) (0.065)
t0.025 = 2.145
F (2, 13) = 94.16
F0.05 = 3.74
R2 = 0.930802
DW = 1.62
4.2 ANALYSIS OF RESULTS
T-test: The calculated t-value for the regression coefficients of LOG(CIT) and LOG(VAT) are -0.714 and 8.76 respectively. The tabulated t- value is 2.145. Since the calculated t-value of LOG(CIT) is less than the tabulated t-value at 5% level of significance; we conclude that its regression coefficients is statistically insignificant. However, the regression coefficient of LOG(VAT) is statistically significant because its calculated t-value is greater than the tabulated value.
Standard Error test: It is used to test for statistical reliability of the coefficient estimates.
S(b1) = 0.03 S(b2) = 0.07
b11/2 = -0.011 b21/2 = 0.285
Since S(b1) > b1/2 , we conclude that the coefficient estimate of S(b1) is not statistically significant while the coefficient estimate of S(b2) is statistically significant.
F-Test: The F-calculated value is 94.16 while the F-tabulated value is 3.74 at 5% level of significance. Since the F-calculated value is greater than the F-tabulated value, we conclude that the regression plane is statistical significant. This means that the joint influence of the explanatory variables (CIT and VAT) on the dependent variable (INV) is statistically significant.
Coefficient of Multiple Determination (R2) It is used to measure the proportion of variations in the dependent variable which is accounted for or explained by the explanatory variables. The computed coefficient of multiple determination (R2 = 0.930802) shows that 93.08% of the total variations in the dependent variable(INV) is accounted for, by the variation in the explanatory variables namely Company Income Tax (CIT) and Value Added Tax (VAT) while 6.92% of the total variation in the dependent variable is attributable to the influence of other factors not included in the regression model.
Durbin Watson statistics: The computed DW is 1.62. At 5% level of significance with two explanatory variables and 17 observations, the tabulated DW for dL and du are 1.015 and 1.536 respectively. The value of DW is greater than the upper limit, therefore there is no evidence of positive first order serial correlation.
4.3 TEST OF HYPOTHESIS
The researcher wishes to evaluate the impact of taxation on foreign direct investment in Nigeria. With respect to this, the null and alternative hypotheses are stated as follows;
Ho: Fiscal policy does not have significant impact on the economy of Nigeria.
F-test is employed in testing the hypothesis. This test will help to capture the joint influence of the explanatory variables on the dependent variable.
If F-cal > F-tab, reject the null hypothesis and conclude that the regression plane is statistically significant. Otherwise accept the null hypothesis.
Using 5% level of significance at 2 and 14 degrees of freedom, the tabulated F- value is 3.74 while calculated F-value is 94.2. Since the calculated F-value is greater than the tabulated F-value at 5% level of significance; we reject the null hypothesis and conclude that fiscal policy has significant impact on the economy of Nigeria.
4.4 IMPLICATION OF THE STUDY
The regression result above shows that fiscal policy has significant impact on the economy of Nigeria within the period under study. It is estimated from the result that 1% increase in taxation (CIT) will lead to decrease by 0.02% in INV. If tax rate on the company income tax increases, domestic investment will be discouraged. This seems to be true where the available firms in the countries are taxed high and production are adversely affected thereby causing a drop in the investment level of the country. However, it is estimated from the result that 1% increase in VAT, will lead to increase by 0.6% in the investment level of the economy.
SUMMARY OF FINDINGS, CONCLUSION AND POLICY RECOMMENDATION
5.1 Summary of Findings
This research work evaluates the impact of fiscal policy on the economy of Nigeria with respect to company income tax and domestic investment. Fiscal policy was captured by Company Income Tax and Value Added Tax (VAT). The statistical techniques employed, surfaced the following results;
(i) Fiscal policy has significant impact on the economy of Nigeria within the period under study; 1994-2010.
(ii) The entire regression plane is statistically significant. This means that the joint influence of the explanatory variables (CIT and VAT) on the dependent variable (INV) is statistically significant;
(iii) The computed coefficient of multiple determination (R2 = 0.930802) shows that 93.08% of the total variations in the dependent variable (INV) is accounted for, by the variation in the explanatory variables namely Company Income Tax (CIT) and Value Added Tax (VAT).
(iv) The total variation of 6.92% of the total variation in the dependent variable is attributable to the influence of other factors not included in the regression model.
(v) There is no presence of positive first-order serial correlation (autocorrelation) in the model.
Fiscal policy is one of the most important tool for economic growth in Nigeria. More so, taxation which is another approach for fiscal policy is another factor which can promote or discourage investment in a country. Thus, the fiscal policy is necessary in the control of fluctuations experienced in the trade or business cycle. To reduce inequalities through a policy of redistribution of income and wealth. Higher rates of income taxes, capital transfer taxes and wealth taxes are some means adopted for achieving these ends.
In the light of the research findings, the following recommendations are presented;
· Having seen that fiscal policy exert influence on investment, investment should be promoted through tax reduction.
· To ensure increased investment within the economy, the Nigerian investment promotion decree should be promulgated and repealed.
· Government should adopt tax policies that will not endanger the activities of investors in the Nigeria.
· There is every need for government to protect local industries from foreign competition through the use of import duties, turnover taxes/VAT and excises. This has the effect of transferring a certain amount of demand from imported goods to domestically produced goods.