The Slovenia Times

FinMin Would Freeze Indexation for Three More Years


He believes indexation of pay, pensions and social transfers should remain suspended "until we bring employment to a normal level, when wages will start going up themselves through supply and demand".

The left-leaning weekly commented that trade unions would not agree to extending the freeze, to which Mramor responded: "Then they should go around investors themselves begging money for social transfers for those out of jobs, especially youths."

But challenged that the leader of the Pensioners' Party (DeSUS) Karl Erjavec would have his way in the end, Mramor said: "This is the political reality you need to steer a course within."

The minister disagrees he advocates excessive austerity. "Tell me where are we making any savings? It really gets on my nerves, because it's in fact a needed balancing of expenditure with available revenue."

Considering Slovenia has a 2.6% economic growth, the minister believes it would be wise to sustainably cut the general government deficit rather than shift the burden of higher spending to future generations.

Slovenia needs to reduce the deficit below 3% of GDP this year. "And how far did we go? We are planning to cut it to 2.9% of GDP. What if budget revenue is below planned? We went to the far limit not to kill growth."

Mramor also promised the government would not rush too much in reducing the deficit.

"If we reduce the deficit wisely at the lowest possible percentage points in accordance with EU rules, it'll be the best possible support for economic growth, and the beginning of reducing the share of debt in GDP."

Commenting on the OECD's call for moderating minimum wage growth, Mramor said it should not increase at all, not even by a single euro in order to ensure youth more opportunities for jobs.

The strategy for the management of state assets is yet to be finished, and the question is what it will be like once it has passed government and parliamentary procedures, the minister said.

Adding that it is impossible to draw up an ideal list of what should be sold and what not, he also said it was a delusion to expect as much from selling the KNBM bank as what the taxpayer invested in it.


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