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Govt submits bill expanding Fiscal Council sphere of influence

Analysis

The government has submitted an amendment to Parliament that would give the Fiscal Council the right to express opinions on bills closely related to the budget, such as legislation on taxes.

The amendment, posted on the website of Parliament, was drawn up in response to a recommendation by the European Council made as part of an long running excessive deficit procedure against Hungary.

The amendment would expand the Fiscal Council's sphere of influence and professional competence, allowing it to better complete tasks outlined in the constitution, the justification of the bill says.

The constitution stipulates the Fiscal council "shall be an organ supporting Parliament's legislative activities and examining feasibility of the state budget" and "shall make a statutory contribution to the preparation of the state budget act". The basic law also stipulates that the adoption of the budget act "shall be subject to the prior consent" of the Fiscal Council with regard to compliance with a constitutional cap on state debt.

The amendment submitted by the government would give the Fiscal Council the right to express opinions on bills closely related to the budget, including legislation on taxes or duties. The amendment would also give the Fiscal Council the right to express opinions biannually not only on the execution of the budget but on the expected development of state debt too.

The amendments are to legislation contained in the Stability Act, a cardinal law.

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