The Draft Budgetary Plan is an important document in the context of the coordination and monitoring of economic policies in the EU in which Member States are required to present the main guidelines on the fiscal targets and measures for the coming year prior to the adoption of budget documents in national parliaments.
The document submitted to the European Commission and the Eurogroup by Slovenia has been drawn up based on the scenario of unchanged policies. This is understandable and acceptable, as the new Government of the Republic of Slovenia only recently took office. The Draft Budgetary Plan also takes into account the new IMAD forecasts that indicate a somewhat more significant slowing of growth in economic activity than in spring. For the above reason and due to a relatively high level of uncertainty in the international environment, the principle of the Fiscal Rule Act, which requires precaution in planning and assessing the scope of general government revenue and expenditure, must in particular be taken into account while drafting budget documents. Slovenia will have to draw up an updated Draft Budgetary Plan in compliance with the proposed amendment to the Framework for the drafting of the general government budget and the proposed amendment and/or the revision of the national budget. In accordance with the Fiscal Rule Act, the Fiscal Council is not obliged to give an assessment of compliance with fiscal rules in the Draft Budgetary Plan. Such an assessment would only make sense if the whole package of budget documents were assessed simultaneously.
Even in the spring assessment of the Stability Programme – 2018 Supplement, the Fiscal Council pointed out that the indicated non-compliance with the fiscal rules in the coming years requires that new measures be adopted as soon as possible after the formation of the new government. Moreover, the Stability Programme – 2018 Supplement was also drafted based on the scenario of unchanged policies, due to the Government’s resignation. Neither the Stability Programme nor the current Draft Budgetary Plan include measures that would guarantee medium-term and long-term fiscal sustainability and therefore compliance with fiscal rules. Accordingly, the Fiscal Council expects the Government to submit a comprehensive and coordinated set of budget documents in the coming months that will present such measures in a transparent manner.