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Budget proposal reached deficit at the level of 1.98 percent of GDP

THE SLOVAK government will send to the European Union a budget that counts on a marked improvement of the management of public administration. The public budget’s deficit should be under two percent of GDP and continuously decrease to 1.43 percent of GDP in 2016 and 0.39 GDP in 2017, according to budget draft proposed by Finance Ministry on October 13. The Cabinet should discuss it on October 16.

THE SLOVAK government will send to the European Union a budget that counts on a marked improvement of the management of public administration. The public budget’s deficit should be under two percent of GDP and continuously decrease to 1.43 percent of GDP in 2016 and 0.39 GDP in 2017, according to budget draft proposed by Finance Ministry on October 13. The Cabinet should discuss it on October 16.

Analyst of Tatrabanka bank, Juraj Valachy sees the budgetary deficit at a higher level, though. Thus, it should end somewhere around 2.5 percent. It does not consider, for example, lower social and health insurance levies that Prime Minister Robert Fico promised to those with low income – about €150 million that would be missing in the budget, according to the Sme daily.

Higher salaries of teachers or state officials, as promised earlier, are not included either. On Monday, Finance Minister Peter Kažimír sent a message to unionists and employees who want the teachers’ salaries to be increased by 5 percent starting in January: when salaries are concerned, the government is bound by the debt brake, but the Eurostat European statistics office will soon loosen its grip, according to Sme.

The new version of the draft budget was on the October 13 agenda of an extraordinary session of the Economic and Social Council. The social partners ultimately disagreed on the text because of the position the Association of Towns and Villages of Slovakia (ZMOS), the SITA newswire reported.

The municipalities, among others, demanded increased transfers to finance the duties delegated to local governments, to finance social services, for the construction of rental housing, and to make realistic adjustments to certain income items of towns and villages. Representatives of ZMOS also criticize the fact that the Finance Ministry also outlined for them large surpluses in the draft budget, the achievement of which they deem unrealistic.

According to the head of the tripartite Labour Minister Ján Richter, the other social partners agreed with the draft budget with some comments, which should still be discussed with the Finance Ministry.

“I find this a relative success for now,” Richter said after the tripartite talks, as quoted by SITA. “I am convinced that there is still time left until the Cabinet, and then Parliament, debates the draft, that ZMOS can discuss with the Finance Ministry those issues which relate to their problems.”

(Source: Finance Ministry, Sme, SITA)

Compiled by Roman Cuprik from press reports
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