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Budgetary council nixes draft budget

THE DRAFT state budget for 2014, proposed by Finance Minister Peter Kažimír, was assessed by the government’s Council for Budgetary Responsibility as hinging mostly on one-time and temporary measures, with rising structural deficit and an increasing burden of consolidation.

THE DRAFT state budget for 2014, proposed by Finance Minister Peter Kažimír, was assessed by the government’s Council for Budgetary Responsibility as hinging mostly on one-time and temporary measures, with rising structural deficit and an increasing burden of consolidation.

The council noted that the government has abandoned its previous ambitions, as in the spring Smer spoke of a 2.6-percent deficit for 2014, while in the draft budget it forecasts a 2.8-percent deficit, the Sme daily wrote.

Council chairman Ivan Šramko pointed out that this proposal is less ambitious when compared with the Stability Programme that was sent to Brussels, as the consolidation effort is lower by 0.7 percent of GDP.

“The goal set for 2014 is feasible, however, provided that there is income from one-time measures [such as cuts in government goods and services, state officials’ salaries as well as capital expenses, plus higher-than-expected dividends],” Šramko said, as quoted by the TASR newswire.

“When you put the positives and the negatives of the budget on scales, the negatives outweigh the positives,” Council member Ľudovít Ódor said, as quoted by Sme, adding that the budgetary plan worsens the long-term sustainability of public finances.

The 2014 draft budget contains risks where accomplishing the mid-term goal of a 0.5-percent structural deficit in 2017 is concerned, Šramko said, as reported by TASR.

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