SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, Nov. 11 (EUROPA PRESS) –
The president of the Independent Authority for Fiscal Responsibility (AIReF), Cristina Herrero, highlighted the role played by fiscal institutions such as AIReF, which have the central mandate of ensuring the sustainability of public finances, at the X National Congress of Audit in the public sector organized by the Audiencia de Cuentas de Canarias and Fundación FIASEP.
As Cristina Herrero recalled, AIReF was created in 2013 after the economic-financial crisis as a new institution at the national level due to its mandate and its institutional singularities. She added that a powerful institution was chosen to meet the demands of the EU and given the special situation to which the crisis had led to Spanish finances.
Herrero highlighted that AIReF ensures fiscal sustainability through the exercise of two functions with evident synergies: fiscal supervision and evaluation. And it does so through the issuance of Reports, Opinions and Studies. In addition, it produces specific sustainability products. AIReF carries out these functions with different features compared to other organizations with functions in the field of public finances.
In its short-term analyses, AIReF assesses ex ante compliance with fiscal objectives -guidelines in the current context of suspension of fiscal rules-, without losing sight of the medium term. In fact, last October, AIReF published, for the first time, its medium-term scenarios in the Report on the Draft 2023 Budget. Until now, they were only published in the Report on the Stability Program Update.
AIReF has been warning of the risks to the sustainability of public finances due to the high level of accumulated debt, which seems to be stagnating at levels above 100% of GDP and which leaves it in a vulnerable position in the face of external shocks such as the rise in interest rates . In this context, it has recommended the definition of a medium-term fiscal strategy that guarantees the sustainability of public finances.
In the long term, AIReF initially focused on the sustainability of Social Security, but at the end of this year it will publish an Opinion on long-term sustainability that will go further, with a comprehensive analysis with demographic, macroeconomic and fiscal projections that allow analyze the sustainability of the finances of all public administrations in the very long term.
As Cristina Herrero recalled, the future reform of the fiscal framework is committed to a more qualitative framework, with quality as the axis of sustainability. In this sense, AIReF consolidates itself as an evaluator of the efficiency, effectiveness and equity of public policies with commissions from both the Central Administration and the Autonomous Communities. The president of AIReF reviewed one of the latest evaluations of the institution, that of the Minimum Vital Income (IMV), published in July 2022.
The director of the AIReF Public Expenditure Evaluation Division, José María Casado, also participated in the Congress, assuring that the objective of the evaluations carried out by AIReF is to provide evidence for improving the quality of public policies. In addition, he recalled that they have already promoted some reforms, in fundamental areas such as health, taxation, employment, education, infrastructure, industry and social policies.