DUE TO the 55-percent threshold for the public debt being exceeded in the past year, the Finance Ministry is obliged to freeze 3 percent or €305 million of overall state budget expenditures - with the exception of expenditures directly defined by the Constitutional Budgetary Responsibility Act, the ministry press department informed the TASR newswire.

Among the items exempted from the freeze are transfers by social-insurer Sociálna Poisťovňa, expenditures on repairing the damage caused by natural disasters, state-debt administration and relations with the EU budget.

The approved 2014 budget contains a reserve for improving tax collection, not specifically bound to any expenditure policies.

"Out of this reserve, a volume corresponding to the already confirmed additional income of €200 million stemming from more streamlined tax collection can be allocated for the purposes of the freeze," said the ministry as quoted by TASR, adding that the 2014 budget will see its deficit decreased by the sum in question. All additional incomes above this reserve will be used to cut the deficit.

Furthermore, under the Constitutional Act, the Government reserve as well as the prime minister's reserve of more than €3 million are also frozen and as of May 16 can no longer be drawn.

The Finance Ministry also informed individual ministries about the freeze in their budgets, with the exact sums that have to be frozen totalling €100 million.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports.
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information
presented in its Flash News postings.