The Slovenia Times

Revised budget for 2022 increasing expenditure, deficit unchanged


Ljubljana - Presenting the draft supplemental budget for 2022, which "has no budget user getting less", Finance Minister Klemen Boštjaničič said the changes were needed due to measures adopted by the previous government. The proposal envisages expenditure increasing by EUR 600 million to 14.6 billion without significantly changing the deficit.

The minister told the press in Ljubljana on Friday that the original budget for 2022 had envisaged EUR 330 million in reserves, but measures adopted by the previous government after it passed the budget, in particular coronavirus-related stimulus packages, created over EUR 1 billion in additional costs.

The bills keep coming, he added, while also highlighting major economic and geopolitical changes, especially when it comes to energy, which necessitates measures to prevent supply disruptions.

The supplementary budget envisages around EUR 14.6 million in expenditure, a EUR 600 million increase, while revenue is expected to rise by about EUR 1 billion to some EUR 11.5 billion, which Boštjančič said also had to do with high inflation.

"The budget deficit will therefore remain within the planned range of just over EUR 2 billion, despite the increase in expenditure," the minister said.

In response to criticism from some that the spending in the proposed budget was inflated, Finance Ministry State Secretary Saša Jazbec said around EUR 1 billion was still available this year from the previous European financial perspective.

"As it is in the interest of the country to use all the money from the 2014-2020 European financial perspective, we have worked out the expenditure with the ministries in this way," she said.

As regards criticism of the VAT cut on energy products, Boštjančič said "the government has done this deliberately for the area where we will regulate the price".

"VAT is indeed the biggest revenue stream for the budget and the interference with this source is serious; but given the extremely challenging situation in the energy sector, we have decided to react quickly. This is a temporary cut until the end of spring 2023. I hope that market conditions will be better then," the minister said.

While feeling that the energy situation will not allow for a balanced budget this year or in 2023, Boštjančič is also determined not to make budget deficits a normal affair, "because debt needs to be repaid".


More from Economy