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President signs 2015 budget

COMPLETING the legislative process, President Andrej Kiska signed the 2015-17 state budget legislation on December 16, the TASR newswire reported.

COMPLETING the legislative process, President Andrej Kiska signed the 2015-17 state budget legislation on December 16, the TASR newswire reported.

Revenues of the general state budget for 2015 are projected at €28.5 billion, expenditures at €30.4 billion leaving a deficit of €1.94 billion. This accounts for 2.49 percent of the gross domestic product including a 0.2 percent reserve while the original draft’s deficit was at 1.98 percent of GDP. The general government debt should remain below 55 percent of GDP.

The budget proposal was approved by the parliament on December 4, with 81 Smer lawmakers voting in favour, while 53 lawmakers were against and eight opposition MPs abstained.

In addition, the government set a reserve of 0.2 percent of GDP in case of a need for adjustments due to risks associated with macroeconomic developments. It referred to the ongoing geopolitical conflict that is having an impact on economies that are Slovakia’s key business partners.

Meanwhile, the Finance Ministry, which tabled the proposal, had to find extra resources for various new measures that are set to come into effect as of next year – including the introduction of a deductible item on levies to health insurers for low-income employees and planned increases in the salaries of teachers and public and state administration employees. The government also allocated money for expanding the capacities of pre-school facilities, as well as for the introduction of an option to draw both subsistence benefit and a salary at the same time. As previously observed by Finance Minister Peter Kažimír, the introduction of the deductible item on health levies represents the largest amount, reaching €150 million, TASR wrote.

Furthermore, the parliament approved a number of amending proposals to the budget that sought to top up the budgets in a number of areas, including the President’s Office and the education, economy, labour and health ministries. This translated into increases in the deficit from the initially projected 1.98 percent of GDP to the current 2.29 percent.

The government is also counting on a reserve with respect to tax collection.

“We have created sufficient reserves of €300 million for better incomes, mainly as concerns the income tax imposed on individuals and legal entities, consumer taxes and VAT,” Kažimír said, as quoted by TASR.

Source: TASR

Compiled by Radka Minarechová from press reports

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