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Parliament's budget committee votes to cut Fiscal Council budget

Parliament's budget committee on Wednesday voted for a proposal to cut funding allocated in the 2011 budget for the Fiscal Council – an independent body, established by the previous government, to assess budget drafts – to practically nil.

All 18 MPs of governing Fidesz-KDNP voted for the proposal. The 8 opposition MPs voted against it.

Parliament's Economic Committee voted in support of the proposal at a meeting on Tuesday.

The proposal, which would take HUF 826 million of the Fiscal Council's 836 million budget and reallocate it to the Foundation for Hungarian Gypsies, was not supported by Parliament's committee on constitutional affairs at a meeting on Monday. The government's representative at the meeting also voiced a stand against cutting the Fiscal Council's budget.

But Fidesz group leader János Lázár said after the vote on Monday that Fidesz MPs would support the proposal.

József Varga, the MP who submitted the proposal, argued that the Fiscal Council costs the state almost HUF 1 billion a year and that it carries out tasks that are much the same as those of the National Bank of Hungary and the State Audit Office.

When the Fiscal Council was established in 2008, Fidesz argued that a smaller, three-member body, without any staff or office, would have been appropriate for the job.

The 2010 Budget Act allocated HUF 900 million to the Fiscal Council. (MTI-Econews)