Finance Ministry: Public deficit to drop to 2.9 percent of GDP next year

The public deficit is expected to drop to 2.9 percent of GDP in 2014. In 2015, the deficit is projected to fall slightly to 2.57 percent of GDP and, finally, to 1.5 percent in 2016, according to a budget proposal for 2014-16 published by the Finance Ministry on August 14. In order to reduce the deficit to 2.9 percent next year, additional austerity cuts worth €702.8 million will be introduced.

The public deficit is expected to drop to 2.9 percent of GDP in 2014. In 2015, the deficit is projected to fall slightly to 2.57 percent of GDP and, finally, to 1.5 percent in 2016, according to a budget proposal for 2014-16 published by the Finance Ministry on August 14. In order to reduce the deficit to 2.9 percent next year, additional austerity cuts worth €702.8 million will be introduced.

The Finance Ministry also warns that, based on available data, the public deficit could rise to 3.04 percent of GDP this year and thus exceed the 3-percent threshold set by European budgetary rules. The greatest negative is the loss of tax and levy incomes worth €651.2 million, although these can be partly compensated for by reserves gained from opening up the second pension pillar (€229.1 million) and by the sale of emergency oil and oil product reserves worth €380 million.

The ministry points to the running of regional authorities as the greatest financial risk that could increase the deficit by up to 0.2 percent of GDP, the TASR newswire wrote. Ministry officials warn that if this negative trend were to continue, additional measures would be called for.

The Transport and Labour Ministries will receive the highest amounts of money from the state budget in 2014, with the Transport Ministry led by Ján Počiatek getting €2.15 billion and the Labour Ministry headed by Ján Richter €2.08 billion. Next comes Robert Kaliňák's Interior Ministry, which is slated to see €1.86 billion, according to the 2014 budgetary proposal.

Conversely, the lowest figure is to be allocated to the Anti-Monopoly Office (PMÚ) - €2.09 million. Similar budgeting is also planned for the Regulatory Office for Network Industries (ÚRSO) - €2.66 million - and the Private Property Office (€2.7 million). The Parliamentary Office is to receive €23.46 million, the Government Office €24.07 million, and the President's Office €4.01 million. The Slovak Information Service (SIS) intelligence agency will claim €43.27 million and the Slovak Academy of Sciences (SAV) €60.35 million, according to TASR.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
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