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Published: 04/17/2023

Assessment by the Fiscal Council: Assessment of budgetary documents for 2023–2026

The fiscal policy stance projected in the medium-term budget documents is on average neutral over the 2023–2026 period, but in the absence of reforms, the projections imply rather limited room for manoeuvre for fiscal policy in the years ahead. Most of the indicators used by the Fiscal Council in preparing its assessment show compliance with the rules in 2025 and 2026. The deviations in 2024 are mainly due to the projected high investment activity and a further decline in the revenue-to-GDP ratio and are within the range of variability of the assessments of the cyclical position of the economy. Against this background, we assess the projections in the draft Stability Programme 2023 as broadly realistic and, in line with the IMAD macroeconomic forecast, consistent with the precautionary principle. This approach is appropriate given the continuing high uncertainty and number of risks. Apart from macroeconomic risks, the main risk is posed by the announced reforms. Their financial effects are not included in the proposed budgetary documents while, in view of the assessed risks to the long-term sustainability of public finances, reforms of the social security systems are particularly urgent.

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