Financial policy

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Fiscal policy is all measures that affect the income and expenditure of public budgets , i.e. the budgets of the federal, state and local governments. Alongside monetary policy, financial policy is a central element of economic policy .


The objectives of financial policy can include:

  • Funding: the generation of revenue to finance public spending
  • Growth: to promote sustainable economic growth
  • Stabilization: influencing the economy e.g. B. through countercyclical fiscal policy
  • Distribution: redistribution of money to alleviate the inequality of income distribution e.g. B. through a progressive income tax
  • Steering function: through taxes (for example tobacco tax ) and levies or tax relief or tax relief (for example child allowances ) to promote health or environmentally conscious behavior or childcare.

Constitutional debt brakes should lead to a link between fiscal policy and a budget that is neutral to the economy . A financial policy dictated by strict austerity constraints is known as austerity policy .


The decision on the budget is the decisive exercise of the budget right . Since it has a significant influence on the priorities of politics, the exercise of the budget right does not lie with the governments or authorities, but with the parliaments and representations (for example the municipal council ). In principle, ministries and administrations are only authorized to dispose of budget estimates once an effective budget decision has been taken. If a year has already started and a budget has not yet been adopted or, in the case of municipalities, also approved, the corporation is in provisional budget management , during which only expenses are permitted for which there is a legal obligation or to prevent damage to the corporation.

The state's administrative financial policy is usually located in its own ministry . In Germany there is the Federal Ministry of Finance at the federal level , the federal states also have their own finance ministries and the municipalities have treasurers .

In Switzerland , the main features of financial policy are regulated in the constitution . According to Article 126 ("Housekeeping") , no shortfalls may result in the long term , ie over several budget years (deficit brake ), and a debt brake is also prescribed.

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Springer Gabler Verlag, Gabler Wirtschaftslexikon, keyword: financial policy
  2. Klaus Schubert, Martina Klein, Das Politiklexikon, 5th ed. Bonn, 2011, retrieved from the Federal Agency for Civic Education, keyword financial policy