The Stability Programme 2020 was referred to the Portuguese Public Finance Council (CFP) on the same day it was made public. The preparation of this report stems from the CFP's legal mandate (article 7(1) of the CFP Statutes).
The document presented on 7 May 2020 by the Government does not provide the minimum information so it can be considered a genuine Stability Programme. Contrary to legal provisions and to the European Commission's guidelines on the minimum informative content of the updating of stability programmes, the following are crucially absent: (i) macroeconomic forecasts; (ii) a forecast for the budget balance and for the public debt; (iii) a quantification of the direct budgetary impact of measures taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic for the whole of 2020.
As this document does not include neither a macroeconomic scenario nor a budgetary forecast, CFP did not have the opportunity to make its usual prior assessment.
The absence of this minimum set of information constitutes a significant budgetary transparency shortcoming, with likely consequences on economic agents confidence and on the ability to publicly scrutinise measures and policies adopted in this very adverse context.
The CFP calls on the Government to provide adequate forward-looking information in the shortest possible time so that economic agents can shape their expectations and adjust their strategies so the economy and social cohesion recovery are achieved as quickly as possible.