The Long Term Impact of Structural Economic Change on Government Spending

"This paper explores the likely impact of diversification on government's revenue raising ability and hence on the magnitude of its overall role in the economy. It uses projections over a 20 year period to simulate possible scenarios for taxation and the size of government. The key point is that any diversification will cause government revenues to fall, in relative terms. The diamond sector is extremely profitable, and those profits are taxed at a very high rate; as the economy diversifies, other sectors will emerge that will be less profitable and less highly taxed. The projections in this paper show that under a variety of different assumptions about sectoral growth rates, and taxation and spending, government will have to significantly reduce its role in the economy. Such a change will have major implications for choices to be made about the allocation of public expenditure. "