The Slovenia Times

Parties unhappy with tweaks to budget implementation act


The changes were presented to the parliamentary Finance Committee by Finance Minister Andrej Bertoncelj on Wednesday. The ministry initially planned to have the document discussed by the government tomorrow, but this plan has been abandoned.

While not all parliamentary parties are familiar yet with the details of the plan, the STA has acquired a document that cuts budget expenditure in 2019 by a total of EUR 160m.

Some of the more contentious measures include cutting bonuses for large families, a reintroduction of austerity measures cutting child benefits for families in the top-two brackets still eligible for the benefit, a reduction in state-funded scholarships for the poor.

Earlier today, Prime Minister Marjan Šarec met the head of the Modern Centre Party (SMC), Miro Cerar, and Alenka Bratušek, the head of the namesake party (SAB). Moreover, Šarec called a coalition summit for Saturday to discuss the document.

Coming out of the meeting, Cerar said that solutions would be found to guarantee the protection of vulnerable groups. Tomorrow, Labour Minister Ksenija Klampfer, of the SMC, will meet with Bertoncelj to draft appropriate solutions, according to Cerar.

Bratušek meanwhile said that the changes to the budget implementation act would be discussed by the government next week and expressed confidence that the Finance Ministry would change the document in such a way that the parliament would pass it with the support of the Left, the minority government's ally in the opposition.

While the Left believes that any austerity measures need to be discussed with trade unions, Bratušek said after her meeting with Šarec that she was happy with "the constructive debate" and the prime minister's assurances that pensions would increase.

The opposition New Slovenia (NSi) is also very critical of the changes drafted by the Finance Ministry. "We learnt from the media that the government intends to make substantial cuts to social transfers and bonuses for families," NSi MP Iva Dimic has told the press.

The Student Organisation (ŠOS) and the charity Association of Friends of Youth have also expressed protest against potential austerity measures.

The senior coalition Marjan Šarec Party (LMŠ), and its partners, the Social Democrats (SD) and the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) do not comment on the changes presented by Bertoncelj.

The government, appointed in mid-September, has not adopted a supplementary budget for next year before sending the fiscal plans to the European Commission. Supplementary budget will also be discussed at the coalition summit on Saturday.

Bertoncelj said earlier this month that the Commission expressed understanding but also expected Slovenia to mount an additional effort and comply with fiscal rules as closely as possible.


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