With the 2005 reform of the Stability and Growth Pact, a commitment was made to actively consolidate public finances in good times and to use unexpected extra revenues for deficit and debt reduction and not for additional expenditure. Against this background this study provides evidence of a lax implementation of expenditure plans in recent years when revenues were buoyant. Moreover, the influence of revenue windfalls on expenditure overruns is found to be more pronounced in countries that also have not met their medium-term objectives. Thus, first experiences in implementing the provisions of the preventive arm of the Stability and Growth Pact after its reform are not encouraging.
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