The Slovenia Times

More Austerity If Govt Measures Are Blocked


Presenting the bills, which envisage a reduction of the budget deficit to 2.8% of GDP in 2013 and to 2.5% in 2014, Šušteršič said that they also included incentives for businesses and measures boosting revenue.

While expenditure is being cut by EUR 450m, the government has found EUR 300m in additional revenue, which is why the minister labelled the proposal as "balanced".

He rejected accusations that the bills were unrealistic, saying that building on measures that remain to be adopted was nothing unusual.

In case the government's proposals are blocked, the only alternative remaining will be to step up fiscal austerity, for instance in the field of investments, he announced.

Boštjan Vasle, the head of the Institute for Macroeconomic Analysis and Development (IMAD), agreed that failure to adopt the measures planned would make it hard to reverse economic contraction.

The situation on international markets deteriorated significantly in recent months, with countries that put off reforms paying much more for borrowing, Vasle added.

The opposition SocDems nonetheless insisted they could not back the bills, agreeing with the need for fiscal consolidation, but arguing it needed to be based on a balance between development, social security and saving.

SocDems MP Matevž Frangež said that the government was putting the weight of the crisis on the back of the middle and lower classes, while the rich were getting a minimum share of the burden.

Bojan Starman of the ruling Democrats (SDS) regretted the failure to economise in the past and argued in favour of the budget bills, saying that cuts were being distributed relatively fairly.

The Finance and Monetary Policy Committee, which is the last parliamentary body to debate the bills, is still continuing with the discussion and is expected to take a vote late in the evening.


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