The Italian Budget Procedures: Analysis and Proposals
One of the main arguments of this paper is that complexity, lack of transparency, and convoluted laws and regulations make it very difficult to handle the Italian public finances and make debt reduction policies particularly difficult. In our view, a budget procedure can do two things: (1) make it possible for responsible governments or parliaments to run fiscal policy in a clear and transparent way; (2) make it more difficult for irresponsible governments or parliaments to hide their irresponsibility. We make several proposals that aim at simplifying the preparation, presentation and discussion of the various budget documents, with the goal of making it easier to detect and allocate the blame for irresponsible fiscal behaviour. We make a second set of proposals aimed at reinforcing the role of the treasury minister within the executive, and of the executive relative to parliament, to entrust the process to the agent that normally has the best information and incentives to enforce fiscal discipline.
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