fiscal stancethe government's underlying position in applying FISCAL POLICY, that is, whether it plans to match its expenditure and taxation revenues (a planned BALANCED BUDGET) or deliberately plans to spend more than it expects to receive in taxation revenues (a planned BUDGET DEFICIT), or deliberately plans to spend less than it receives in taxation revenues (a planned BUDGET SURPLUS). This represents the government's ‘discretionary’ fiscal policy Its actual budgetary position, however, can deviate from its fiscal stance insofar as, for example, recession will cause taxable incomes and expenditures to fall below expected levels and unemployment and other social security payments to increase above the expected level. Thus, without any actual change in the government's fiscal stance and tax rates set, the government's budget position and borrowing requirements can vary with the level of economic activity See PUBLIC SECTOR BORROWING REQUIREMENT.
Collins Dictionary of Economics, 4th ed. © C. Pass, B. Lowes, L. Davies 2005