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Changes to Fiscal Council could force central bank to hire more analysts, says governor

An amendment that would eliminate the staff of the Fiscal Council - an independent body established by the previous government to assess budget policy - and replace its members could force the National Bank of Hungary to hire more analysts, MNB governor András Simor said at a conference organized by economic research company GKI.

The amendment, cleared for a final vote on Monday, would replace the Fiscal Council's three members - independent economists elected by Parliament at present - with the central bank governor, the head of the state audit office ÁSz and an economist to be appointed by the President of the Republic for a six-year mandate. The Council's staff would be eliminated and its tasks would be limited to expressing opinions on proposed and approved budget legislation.

The Fiscal Council's staff has carried out a much deeper analysis of budget matters than the MNB's staff, Simor said. The MNB will take its own stand on the tasks of the revamped Council, and this could involve expanding the bank's research capacity, he added.

The amendments affecting the Fiscal Council leave rules laid down in the Act on Fiscal Responsibility unchanged, Simor noted. (MTI – Econews)