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Amendment would broaden Fiscal Council's scope of influence on EU recommendation

Parliament is expected to vote on Monday on amendments that strengthen the Fiscal Council's scope of influence and professional competency on a recommendation by the European Council made as part of an excessive deficit procedure against Hungary.

The amendments to the Act on Economic Stability, submitted by National Economy Minister György Matolcsy, would allocate funding from the budget of the Office of Parliament for both the Fiscal Council and its secretariat.

They would allow the body to express opinions on proposed amendments necessary for the budget as well as on bills on taxes, fees, contributions or other payments designed to finance public services.

The amendments would require the presence of all three Fiscal Council members to deviate from the agenda at meetings.

In cases which require an opinion within one day, members could participate at meetings via "electronic telecommunications device" instead of in person.

The amendments would also ease the government's reporting responsibility to the Fiscal Council, requiring it to submit the budget draft - as well amendments changing the revenue or expenditure total or increasing the deficit - and supporting calculations, but not a list of the fiscal effects of other legislative changes.