The Slovenia Times

Finance minister says coalition agreement will not be rushed


Ljubljana - The coalition agreement has outlined the direction in which the government is heading, but specific measures will have to be adapted to the state of public finances, Finance Minister Klemen Boštjančič said on Thursday as he responded to a recent criticism the Fiscal Council voiced about policies planned by the new government.

The government advisory body said on Monday that the coalition agreement contained a series of largely general measures which go beyond a four-year term.

Criticising the document as rather vague, the council said that it could lead to a possible increase in expenditure that could exceed the increase in revenue.

Boštjančič told the press that he appreciated the Fiscal Council and that he was well aware of the warnings it had made.

The government also expressed its support for the Fiscal Council as an independent and autonomous body in a press release issued today.

The release from the Government Communication Office (UKOM) says that at his recent meeting with the council's leadership, PM Robert Golob expressed his interest in constructive cooperation and dialogue on key topics regarding public finances.

Given the difficult situation, the coalition partners will update the coalition agreement every six months, if necessary, UKOM says.

"The government is aware of the risks highlighted by the Fiscal Council and will take them into account when creating specific measures."

Several factors will have a major impact on the realistic ability to achieve the targets in the coming period, such as the Covid epidemic, the Ukraine war and inflation.

In the coming months, the government will therefore focus on urgent short-term measures as well as on starting to tackle longer-term systemic challenges.

Among the urgent short-term measures are an emergency healthcare bill and an exit strategy from the pandemic, as well as tackling high energy and food prices.

"The government will make an effort to ensure that specific measures are sustainable and in line with the country's fiscal capacity, and is also aware of the need to find additional revenues for the needs that have been highlighted as priorities."

Since the government wants to avoid raising taxes, it will seek opportunities brought by investment in green and digital transformation.

Boštjančič meanwhile said that he was against partial measures, especially when it comes to taxes. He said the previous government's income tax reform addressed a very broad issue in a partial manner.


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