The final decision on the budget and the accompanying bill with which the government wants to reduce the budget deficit to 3% of GDP from over 6% now will be taken at a plenary that is set to start on Thursday The session dedicated to the budget will be called by the college of deputy group leaders as they meet at noon today. The coalition propose holding the session on Thursday and Friday.
The Finance and Monetary Policy Committee will be the last parliamentary working body to debate the proposed austerity budget and the accompanying legislation. Expenditure in the supplementary budget is capped at EUR 9.014bn, down from EUR 10.104bn in the originally planned budget for this year, which was passed in late 2010 but whose implementation has been frozen.
Budget revenues are meanwhile downgraded by EUR 753m to EUR 7.9bn, mainly as a result of lower tax revenues.The bulk of the savings are to be made through cuts in public sector pay, plus cuts affecting welfare benefits, education, healthcare as well as internal savings at the ministries.
The plans are harshly opposed by public sector trade unions, which staged a general strike on 18 April. Subsequent talks have failed to produce agreement, but trade unions and the government are expected to meet on Monday morning in what is seen as a last ditch attempt to reach a compromise.