In 2013, Slovakia brought the deficit below 3 percent of GDP to 2.77 percent, which was a fundamental condition for the country to leave the eurozone’s procedure for countries with excessive public finance deficits, reads the Stability Programme for 2014-17 acknowledged by the parliament on May 14. According to the document, government managed to reduce the so-called structural deficit from 3.8 percent in 2013 to the recent 1.9 percent.

To reduce the deficit, the government needed to adopt cuts amounting to more than €1.5 billion. Finance Minister Peter Kažimír has already announced that the government will have to continue with consolidation efforts also in the years ahead. He accentuated, as quoted by the TASR newswire, the need to continue to pursue consolidation efforts in 2015, as the ministry expects the deficit to drop to 2.49 percent next year.

The ministry is also planning to adopt further measures such as removing some exemptions in the use of cash registers and introducing a withholding tax on income from sales of scrap metal. It also envisages sticking to its programme of enhancing the collection of VAT.

In the context of May 14 debate on the issue in parliament, opposition MPs criticised the document blaming the government for reducing the public deficit in an unsustainable way – through one-off measures – and for the deterioration of the business environment.

(Source: TASR)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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