The Slovenia Times

Budgets for 2016, 2017 confirmed


For 2016 revenue is set at EUR 8.7bn and expenditure at EUR 9.5bn, with the budget deficit at 2.1% of GDP, the lowest since the start of the economic crisis in 2008, but still EUR 50m higher than initially planned by the government.

"The only reason for this is the migration flow, due to which the Finance Ministry will make available additional EUR 123m," Prime Minister Miro Cerar told the MPs on Monday, as he presented the documents in the parliament.

The figures were slightly tweaked in the final stages of the budgeting process to accommodate for the anticipated outlays and extra EU funds for the refugee crisis.

In 2017 revenue is projected to remain level while expenditure is to drop to EUR 9.4bn, making for a budget deficit of 1.74% of GDP.

The government followed in the drafting of the budget documents the goal to encourage growth, as well as spending. Cerar pointed out that the wage bill for the public sector was being increased and that some austerity measures were being lifted.

The budgets are increasing for the police force, military, the Civil Protection and Relief Administration and the Justice Ministry. Less funds than in the past years will go for measures to boost employment, as the unemployment rate has been decreasing.

But while the public sector trade unions are happy with the budgets, mayors are far from celebrating, after failing to achieve an increase in per capita funding.

In the two days of budget debates opposition MPs criticised the government for lack of vision and strategy. Unaffiliated MP Alenka Bratušek said that Slovenia was in for two years of no progress.

Meanwhile, the Democrats (SDS) MP Andrej Šircelj wondered whether the police and military would get enough funds in the face of the refugee crisis.

The opposition United Left (ZL) and New Slovenia (NSi) believe the government could have found a way to increase budget revenue. The ZL proposed higher taxes for the biggest earners, while the NSi underlined job creation was vital to increase revenue.

Coalition MPs on the other hand expressed satisfaction that the need for austerity measures was gradually decreasing and that the budgets would allow creativity and development.


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