Fiscal Council's 2016 annual summary and support to reappointment of its members  21 December 2016

Today Fiscal Discipline Council publishes a brief summary on the key developments in 2016, and expresses support to two of its members, who are invited to the discussions in the Saeima Budget and Finance (Taxation) Committee regarding their potential reappointment as Fiscal Discipline Council members for a second term.

Council's members Mārtiņš Kazāks and Morten Hansen started their work in the Council as from its foundation; they received Saeima's approval on 19 December 2013. On 29 May 2014 both were confirmed in the gross domestic product working group of the Council.

"During the three years of active participation by M. Kazaks and and M. Hansen, a solid framework for endorsement of macroeconomic forecast developed by the Ministry of Finance has been created from scratch. The formal side has been organised: the Memorandum of Understanding has been developed and signed with the Ministry of Finance, which determins  the flow of information between the Ministry of Finance and the Council. The macroeconomic projections have already been endorsed twice, with several active discussion rounds each time with the representatives of the Ministry of Finance aiming at obtaining a reasonable forecast," says Chairman of the Council Jānis Platais.

The Memorandum of Understanding  strengthened the Council as an independent body that confirms the country's macroeconomic projections, which are used as a basis for drafting the budget. The approval of macroeconomic forecast is one of the most important tasks of the Council in the budget drafting process. The need to obtain the Council's approval of macroeconomic forecasts has contributed to a more conservative forecasts that improve the budget balance results.

"M. Kazaks and M. Hansen are also active in representing the Council during the meetings with international organisations – European Commission, International Monetary Fund, World Bank and the rating agencies. Thanks to the two Council members, Latvian Fiscal Discipline Council's work is highly appreciated in the international environment" continues J. Platais. "At the same time, working in their main jobs, both of them are active in educating the society: on the economic and budgetary issues: M. Kazaks regularly delivers lectures in various Latvian regions, including universities, but M. Hansen writes a blog in the irir.lv."