Thomson Financial News - Although the budgetary situation has improved remarkably in the last few years, it is quite clear that there is still scope for progress in enhancing the quality of public finances. The benefits of sound fiscal policies are clear: reducing deficits and debts and generally improving the quality of budgets would enable member states to free the necessary resources to encourage innovation, investment, education and employment which, in turn, would allow them to face more confidently the challenges posed by globalisation and an ageing population.