The Slovenia Times

Govt Plans Spending of EUR 9.85BN, Deficit of 2.8% of GDP Next Year



State spending next year is to amount to EUR 9.85bn, according to the document that will serve as the basis for the drafting of the supplementary budget, Finance Minister DuĊĦan Mramor said.

The blueprint includes a breakdown of spending by individual departments.

In addition to adopting the document, the cabinet ordered all budget units to freeze unessential spending in the first two months of next year pending the implementation of the supplementary budget.

The amended budget is expected to be passed by the end of January, with Mramor saying that the plans adopted today are fully in line with EU requirements that the country reduce its budget deficit to below 3% of GDP next year.

Moreover, the country will achieve a second goal under the EU's fiscal rules by reducing its structural deficit by 0.5 percentage points a year in the past three years.

The minister announced he would present details of the budget blueprint at a press conference on Tuesday.

But he indicated that the controversial proposal to raise CO2 emissions taxes on industrial polluters as a means of raising an additional EUR 30m will be watered down.

Energy-dependant companies will see their burdens rise by only EUR 6.5m, with the difference to EUR 30m to be paid for with measures "affecting the broader population".

He also spoke of the ongoing talks with municipalities on cuts in funding of municipalities, saying that the government was ready to adopt an emergency law which reduces the costs of municipalities as part of measures to reduce state funding.

The municipalities also have the option of tapping improved real estate registries to bolster the collection of fees for the use of building land, the minister said.

With the state expected to slash some EUR 20m in investment funding for local government, Mramor said that municipalities will be offered the option of taking out loans to finance EU-backed projects.

Additionally, in a bid to bolster spending on EU-backed projects at national level, the government today approved the use of funds from a loan taken out with the European Investment Bank (EIB) in 2012.

The Government Office for Development and Cohesion Policies has been tasked with drawing up a list of projects which will be financed with a combination of EU funds and money from the EUR 500m loan.

Meanwhile, Mramor hailed the recent upgrades in forecasts for the Slovenian economy by international organisations, including the International Monetary Fund and rating agencies.


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