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The Financial Power
The article, which is currently being published as an aticle in the Faroese Law Review, was originally submitted to the Faroese Constitutional Committee as a paper from Eyðfinn Jacobsen, lawyer. The author defined financial power as the ability to aquire income for the government, and the power or the right to decide how and when such incomes are to be disbursed. In the Faroe Islands, as in other places, it has been traditionally accepted that taxes can not be collected without having an act of parliament to authorize it, and even nowadays in most industrialized countries, this right lies at the duly elected parliament. The author also deals with the dual responsibilities in the Faroese Constitution or Frame of Government (Stýrisskipanarlógin) – expenses must be justified both in the law (act of parliament) and in the fiscal budget with the Danish Constitution as its paradigm and exemplifying this strictest demand with its significant roots excisting long before the time of Parliamentarism. The author deems the Faroese and Danish dual responsibilities to be too severe in a parliamentary system, because in such a system the legislative branch closely monitors how the executive branch manages the finances. For this reason the Danish authorities do not put much emphasis on this dual responsibility, because they presume that the Danish Parliament (Folketing) monitors the executive branch quite well. A memo entitled „Report on Government Institutions and Funds“ (Álit um landsstovnar og -grunnar) from the Faroese Ministry of Finance in 2001 is thouroughly discussed and criticised in this article. According to the author, the memo is based on a over formalistic understanding of the dual responsibilites in the Faroese Frame of Government. Due to a formal and ahistorical interpretation of a paragraph (fíggjaráseting) in the Frame of Government, the memo from the Ministry of Finance consequently recommends that the activities of many institutions and funds which until now have not been a part of the fiscal budget should be financed in the future through the fiscal budget or some other bill. The author does not concur with this matter, emphasizing that even Danish authors themselves currently desist from formal interpretation of such paragraphs in the Danish Constitution.