The Slovenia Times

Parliament Deciding on Supplementary Budget


While the government argues the document is oriented toward investment and growth, the opposition disagrees, saying it lacks vision.

The supplementary budget is needed because the economic outlook had changed considerably since the original budget document was passed in November 2013 and because some expenditure had been underestimated and receipts will be lower than projected due to the non-implementation of a real estate tax.

Revenue is planned at EUR 8.56bn, EUR 64m less than in the currently valid budget, while expenditure is revised upwards by EUR 462m, to EUR 9.95bn. The budget deficit is expanded from EUR 859m to EUR 1.39bn, up EUR 170m from last year.

The budget documents were reviewed last week by the parliamentary bodies concerned before the Finance and Monetary Policy Committee on Tuesday rejected 40 amendments for redistribution of funding, endorsing only one to correct a technical error in funds for Italian and Hungarian ethnic communities.

Among the rejected amendments is one that would increase funding for police force. "They are aware money will run out for some of the police's basic tasks, but still they are adopting such a budget," the head of the SPS police trade union Zoran Petrovič has said.

Hoping a solution would nevertheless be found at the plenary, he said the force would run out of funds for replacement of worn equipment, maintenance of its mobile radio system and even for emergency helicopter transports, while the programme for the protection of witnesses was also at risk.

The funding for the local government is being reduced as are investment transfers to municipalities in exchange for a cut their administrative costs. Relevant changes affecting eleven acts will be implemented by means of an emergency act that will also be passed at the session starting today.

The budget deficit will increase to 3.62% of GDP because expenditure includes expenses for EU-subsidised projects from the 2007-2014 financial period which will not be refunded by Brussels until next few years. Excluding the expenses, the deficit would be 2.89% of GDP.

Finance Minister Dušan Mramor argues that the supplementary budget is investment-oriented as funds for asset purchases are being increased by 41% compared to 2014, and those for investment transfers are up by 20%, although the bulk of the increase is due to EU funds.

But opposition MPs argued that the only investment were those implemented by municipalities and funded by the EU, and that expenditure for investment was only increasing because projects from past years are being finalised.


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