Youth Debates on Fiscal Governance

Sokeyouk Bun and his team. Photo: TIC

"The national budget is crucial for the development of the nation, the well-being of its citizens and national development priorities"

Should citizens be entitled to make their voice heard in the national budget drafting? Should the government increase tax on income? Should the government increase tax exemption on foreign investment? These questions and other topics related to fiscal governance were debated by 32 youth groups in November and December 2018.

The debates were organized by Transparency International Cambodia in partnership with Oxfam to give a space for young people to build their capacity, challenge and learn from each other on various topics related to fiscal governance.

Sokeyouk Bun, senior student at the Royal University of Law and Economics, one of the contestants, said “This was my first time and I was not familiar with topics related to fiscal governance at all. The debate itself helped me to do more research, talk to more people, ask more questions, and challenge my team members to prepare ourselves to confront other teams.”

Finance for Development

As citizens, we have a duty not only to understand but also to make sure that the national budget really serves the interests of the people. The debate of young people on the issues is really a good start. Executive Director of Transparency International, Preap Kol said that the national budget is crucial for the development of the nation, the well-being of its citizens and national development priorities.

Oxfam has been implementing the Finance for Development project since January 2016, in which Transparency International Cambodia is one of our partners. The purpose of the program is to contribute to improving the quantity and quality of the fiscal system in Cambodia that benefits citizens, particularly young people, women, girls and vulnerable people.

“Going through all the preparation process built my confidence and effective approach. I learned that I always have to prepare to back up and defend what I say. To achieve that, I need to read a lot,” Sokeayouk concluded. “I hope to see more space like this for youth.