The independent Council for Budgetary Responsibility (Rada pre rozpočtovú zodpovednosť, RZZ) criticised on November 12 the budget proposal for the next three years, saying that it hinges mostly on one-time and temporary measures [like cuts in government goods and services, state officials’ salaries as well as capital expenses, plus higher-than-expected dividends], with the structural deficit on the rise and the burden of consolidation only snowballing. However, according to the Council, the 2014 budget proposal contains fewer risks year-on-year.
“The 2014 budget is making public finances untenable in the long run and contains risks where accomplishing mid-term goal of 0.5-percent structural deficit in 2017 is concerned,” RZZ Chairman Ivan Šramko said of the three-year proposal – of which the 2014 chapter was passed by government last month. “The budget is based mostly on one-time and temporary measures, the impact of which will fade away in the mid-term and will need to be replaced with structural measures.”
The RRZ confirmed the feasibility of the planned budget deficit for 2013, Finance Minister Peter Kažimír said on November 13 in response to the criticism by Šramko.
“It’s necessary to emphasise that the Council, as well as the forecast of the European Commission, confirms the feasibility of 3 percent deficit for 2013,” said Kažimír a quoted by the TASR newswire. “The Council also noted that next year's budget contains fewer risks year-on-year. This is key. In 2014, we focus on meeting our nominal goals, to ensure that we get rid of the excessive deficit. With regard to the Council, I have to say that we can agree with some of their positions, while we will also dispute some of their conclusions, but that is perfectly legitimate.”
The European Commission estimates that the husbandry of the Slovak government will worsen next year – the most of all eurozone countries. Analysts in Brussels estimate, according to the Sme daily, that the so-called structural deficit of Slovakia will increase in 0.8 percent of the GDP in 2014.
(Source: TASR, Sme)
Compiled by Zuzana Vilikovská from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information presented in its Flash News postings.
14. Nov 2013 at 10:00