MPs discuss infrastructure, environment budgets for 2022-2023

Ljubljana – The parliamentary Committee of Infrastructure, the Environment and Spatial Planning discussed on Monday the proposed budgets for the infrastructure and environment ministries for the next two years, with the coalition MPs praising them as development-oriented. The opposition meanwhile warned about the public debt and budget deficit.

The budgets for the Infrastructure Ministry, which is set to get EUR 1.27 billion next year and EUR 1.29 billion in 2023, were presented to the committee by State Secretary Blaž Košorok.

He noted that projects in which the ministry would invest in the next two years were major railway and road infrastructure projects, while investments in sustainable mobility would also be important.

For the latter, the ministry will earmark EUR 204 million in 2022 and EUR 216 million in 2023.

The budgets for the Environment and Spatial Planning Ministry were presented by Minister Andrej Vizjak, who said that the amounts in the documents were record-high.

For instance, the budget for 2022 is EUR 140 million higher than initially planned, at EUR 517 million, while the ministry will have around EUR 430.5 million at its disposal in 2023, he said.

Vizjak listed several environmental projects, including capital injections in the National Housing Fund for the construction of assisted living apartments in Trbovlje, with the plan to refurbish the administrative building of the disused local coal mine.

MP Andrej Rajh of the opposition Alenka Bratušek Party (SAB) meanwhile noted that “we have a record-high public finance deficit and a record-high debt. The roots of the state are ill because of the way it operates,” he said.

Dejan Židan of the opposition Social Democrats (SD) praised the policy of investment in the time of crisis, while warning that the period of such policy was ending, as the fiscal balance rule would not be suspended forever.

Mihael Prevc of the coalition New Slovenia (NSi) said that higher investments was what Slovenia needed, and Boris Doblekar of the ruling Democrats (SDS) assessed that local communities were “extremely happy” with the projects.