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Fiscal Council advises parliament to vote down 80 amendments tabled to budget bill

Hungary's Fiscal Council, an independent body, established by the previous government to assess budget drafts, said Monday it advised MPs against approving 80 of the more than 200 amendments proposed and cleared for general debate of the 2011 budget bill.

Of the proposals advised to be voted down, ten proposed to amend a target for a so-called external item —budget items where the targets are determined by separate laws —referring to changes not carried out or proposed in the related law.

20 of the 80 proposals would raise external revenue targets without sufficient ground, and the increase would bring the affected 2011 target above the Council's respective estimate.

29 of the criticised amendments would reduce the reserves set aside for extraordinary government measures.

14 proposals are not even formally balanced therefore would result in a higher deficit, while a further seven proposals are only formally balanced, the council said.

The government recently said it supports replacing the current Fiscal Council, working with a 30-strong research staff, with a 3-member body, composed of the head of the State Audit Office, the central bank governor and one person delegated by the President of the Republic. The new body would have no staff but would have more powers as its consent would be required to start parliamentary debate on the budget bill. (MTI-ECONEWS)