What is a Ministry of Finance?
The Ministry of Finance is a government department responsible for enforcing and upholding various financial laws to effectively grow or maintain a stable economic environment in a given country. The Ministry of Finance implements a series of procedures to carry-out their responsibilities.
The typical Ministry of Finance will provide a nation with the following functions: advising the head of government regarding critical financial maneuvers; managing the nation’s budget; implementing taxation policies and organizing funding for various programs; addressing domestic policy and delivering strategies to ensure domestic economic growth; and handling all matters concerning international financial matters.
The Ministry of Finance, in most forms, is head by the minister of finance, who is a prominent member of a government cabinet. Additionally, the minister of finance, depending on the underlying nation, may carry the title of secretary of treasure or the chancellor of exchequer. Regardless of the title; however, every developed nation in the world has some form of a minister of finance and a Ministry of Finance department.
What does a Minister of Finance Do?
The minister of finance (head of a country’s Ministry of Finance) has numerous roles within a central government. Primarily, those countries that possess a form of federalism will house a Ministry of Finance within the particular state or provincial government body. That being said, the powers and specific roles of the Ministry of Finance and more specifically the minister of finance, will vary between governments. In some countries, such as Canada or New Zealand, the minister of finance will hold the most powerful position within a cabinet.
The most critical role of the Ministry of Finance is to balance the country’s fiscal budget and spending habits. As a result of this function, the Ministry of Finance may be viewed as an unpopular post if they are forced to raise taxes or limit spending in alignment with their nation’s budget or deficit.
Due to the hierarchy of the department, the minister of finance, is chiefly responsible for administering and affirming the decisions of the Ministry of Finance. All decisions are evaluated and subsequently made based off a thorough review of the particular nation’s expenditures, outlook and general economy.
The Ministry of Finance in the United States:
The Ministry of Finance, in the United States, is called the Department of Treasury and is head by the Secretary of the Treasury. The role of the Ministry of Finance in the United States is held in contrast to other developed nations, due to the separate Office of Management and Budget—the primary government agency responsible for drafting the budget of the United States.