The Citizen Budget is an official, non-technical, yet understandable, document that is an integral part of the budget cycle and is published by the Government/Directorate-General for Budget (DGO).
The Citizen Budget summarizes the State Budget in its essential points. It thus seeks, through simplified charts and tables, the reader’s easy understanding of the priorities and decisions implicit in budgetary policy, in order to substantively inform the citizens of the country about the proposed budget law.
Communicating budget priorities is crucial for citizens to understand how the government intends to collect revenue and where it will be spent, and how it expects to meet the budget deficit and public debt goals.
The purpose of this document is to establish good transparency practices that aims to increase the quality of democracy in Portugal.
The Citizen Budget project had its experimental edition in the edition referring to the State Budget for 2014, which was subsequently discontinued. However, the international evaluation of budget transparency over the last few years, through the Open Budget Index, has led to the identification of this important gap in the Portuguese budgetary process.
With the recover of this project, carried out in partnership between the Institute of Public Policy and the Ministry of Finance, the main goal is to restore the annual publication (regular and systematized) of the Citizens Budget, as an integral part of the budget cycle.
The last edition in which IPP assisted the Ministry of Finance in the implementation of the Citizens Budget corresponded to the budget year 2019. The prossecution of this project and the regular elaboration of a Citizens Budget is a decisive instrument to increase citizens’ understanding of policies in the State Budget, improving the accountability of policy makers.