Combined with the exogenous effects of the epidemic, activities for the containment of the COVID-19 epidemic will bring about a sharp economic downturn. Extensive one-off measures have been adopted to mitigate these consequences, which will have a profound impact on the fiscal situation. The adoption and particularly the implementation of such measures require transparency, which is essential for establishing their credibility both among domestic economic agents and on financial markets, where the amount and price of funds available will greatly depend on this credibility. Ultimately, transparency is also relevant to the assessment of the measures’ effectiveness after the epidemic. Following the recommendations of international organisations (OECD and IMF), the Fiscal Council has decided to continuously monitor the fiscal impact of the one-off measures adopted so far and to regularly update its assessment.
When adopting the first anti-coronavirus stimulus package, the government estimated that the direct fiscal impact of these one-off measures would be about EUR 3 billion or 6.7% of the GDP forecast for the current year. In the Stability Programme 2020, this estimate was already reduced by about one third, to less than EUR 2 billon, i.e. 4.4% of GDP. In its assessment of the Stability Programme, the Fiscal Council estimated the value of measures at approximately EUR 1.7 billion or 3.8% of GDP. The first assessment was published on 15 May 2020; the current version is based on updated data up to 1 June 2020 showing the direct fiscal impact of the measures from the first stimulus package in the amount of EUR 634 million.
On 29 May 2020, the National Assembly adopted the Act Determining the Intervention Measures to Mitigate and Remedy the Consequences of the COVID-19 Epidemic (ZIUOOPE) or the third anti-coronavirus package. Preliminary estimates of the impact of individual legislative measures are uncertain as they depend on a number of assumptions. The government estimated the fiscal impact of the Act to be EUR 1 billion when it was put before the National Assembly; the discussion resulted in a few amendments that could have additional fiscal consequences. According to our assessment, the value of the key one-off measures with the greatest expected direct fiscal impact for which data is available amounts to a little over EUR 0.5 billion.