Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

The Fiscal Challenge in Portugal

Contents:

Author Info

  • Stéphanie Guichard
  • Willi Leibfritz

Abstract

Portugal’s fiscal policy has failed to durably reduce the deficit below the Stability and Growth Pact threshold of 3% of GDP and was submitted to the excessive deficit procedure of the EU Commission for a second time in 2005. The paper describes fiscal developments in Portugal over the past years and explores why earlier attempts of fiscal consolidation have failed. It also examines the new consolidation programme and assesses its chances of success and discusses further necessary steps to ensure consolidation over the longer term. It is argued that reasons for the failures of past consolidation efforts were the pro-cyclical policy during the earlier economic upswing and the reliance on one-off-measures which reduced the sense of urgency and commitment to undertake structural reforms and to address the chronic weak control of public spending. The new consolidation strategy is not relying on one-off measures in a context where Portugal has been granted more time to get its deficit under 3% of GDP. It includes structural reforms on the spending side that are going in the right direction and, if fully implemented, are likely to succeed in bringing the deficit below 3% of GDP over the next few years. But consolidation will only be successful if all measures are implemented immediately and forcefully. The consolidation programme needs to be complemented by additional reforms to strengthen expenditure control and in particular to reform the general pension system. On the revenue side, further simplifying the tax system and refraining from revising the tax legislation from one year to the next, as has happened in recent years, would make the tax system easier to manage and would facilitate long-term decision-making by economic agents. Le défi budgétaire du Portugal La politique budgétaire du Portugal ne lui a pas permis de ramener durablement son déficit sous le seuil de 3 % du produit intérieur brut (PIB) prévu par le Pacte de stabilité et de croissance, si bien que la Commission européenne a déclenché pour la seconde fois la procédure concernant les déficits excessifs contre ce pays en 2005. Nous décrivons dans ce document l’évolution de la situation budgétaire du Portugal ces dernières années, et tentons de cerner les raisons pour lesquelles les précédentes tentatives d’assainissement des finances publiques ont échoué. Nous nous penchons également sur le nouveau programme en la matière et évaluons ses chances de réussite, tout en examinant les mesures complémentaires nécessaires pour assurer l’assainissement des finances publiques à long terme. Nous démontrons que les efforts antérieurs déployés en la matière ont échoué en raison de la politique procyclique menée au cours de la précédente reprise économique, et du recours à des mesures ponctuelles, qui ont atténué le sentiment d’urgence et entamé la détermination nécessaire pour engager des réformes structurelles et remédier aux insuffisances chroniques de la maîtrise des dépenses publiques. La nouvelle stratégie d’assainissement budgétaire ne repose pas sur des mesures ponctuelles, alors que le Portugal s’est vu accorder un délai supplémentaire pour ramener son déficit sous la barre des 3 % du PIB. Elle prévoit au chapitre des dépenses des réformes structurelles qui vont dans la bonne direction et, si elles sont intégralement appliquées, devraient permettre de faire refluer le déficit sous le seuil des 3 % du PIB au cours des prochaines années. Reste que cette stratégie ne sera couronnée de succès que si toutes les mesures prévues sont mises en ?uvre immédiatement et énergiquement. Ce programme d’assainissement doit être complété par d’autres réformes destinées à renforcer la maîtrise des dépenses, notamment en réformant le régime général des pensions. Au chapitre des recettes, en simplifiant davantage le système d’imposition et en s’abstenant de réviser la législation fiscale d’une année à l’autre, comme ce fut le cas ces dernières années, les autorités le rendraient plus simple à gérer et faciliteraient les prises de décisions à long terme des agents économiques.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1787/808167518411
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 489.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: 07 Jun 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:489-en

Contact details of provider:
Postal: 2 rue Andre Pascal, 75775 Paris Cedex 16
Phone: 33-(0)-1-45 24 82 00
Fax: 33-(0)-1-45 24 85 00
Email:
Web page: http://www.oecd.org
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: fiscal policy; Portugal; budget deficit; stability programme; programme de stabilité; politique budgétaire; Portugal; déficit budgétaire;

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

No references listed on IDEAS
You can help add them by filling out this form.

Citations

Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
  1. António Afonso & Ricardo Sousa, 2011. "The macroeconomic effects of fiscal policy in Portugal: a Bayesian SVAR analysis," Portuguese Economic Journal, Springer, vol. 10(1), pages 61-82, April.
  2. António Afonso & Peter Claeys & Ricardo M. Sousa, 2009. "Fiscal Regime Shifts in Portugal," Working Papers Department of Economics 2009/39, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  3. António Afonso, 2007. "Public finances in Portugal: a brief longrun view," Working Papers Department of Economics 2007/01, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  4. António Afonso, 2013. "Anatomy of a fiscal débacle: the case of Portugal," Working Papers Department of Economics 2013/01, ISEG - School of Economics and Management, Department of Economics, University of Lisbon.
  5. Alexander W. Hoffmaister & Jaime Guajardo & Mario Catalán, 2008. "Global Aging and Declining World Interest Rates," IMF Working Papers 08/98, International Monetary Fund.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:489-en. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.