Coalition agrees on state budget, with some key objections

The general budget deficit is projected at 4.94 percent of GDP.

Finance Minister Igor MatovičFinance Minister Igor Matovič (Source: TASR)

The ruling parties have finally agreed on the state budget for 2022.

The draft was discussed at the coalition council meeting held on October 11. The state's total incomes are expected to amount to €19.97 billion, while the expenditures are projected at €25.44 billion.

The state budget deficit should thus amount to €5.47 billion. The general budget deficit should amount to 4.94 percent of GDP, the SITA newswire reported.

However, the final version of the state budget for 2022 is conditioned with the adoption of several important laws, such as the pension reform, the law on expenditure caps and the law on debt brakes, said Finance Minister Igor Matovič. If the coalition fails to agree on them and pass them, the deficit will be 4.3 percent of GDP rather than 4.94 percent.

“The budget is written just as the EU rules allow us,” Matovič added, as quoted by the TASR newswire. “The coalition needs to decide on the extra money we should get and thus also decide on whether we’ll be responsible and meet the promises we have given to voters.”

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Yet, the draft already has its critics. This includes opposition leaders Robert Fico (Smer) and Peter Pellegrini (Hlas), but also some members of the Economic and Social Council who discussed the draft at their October 13 meeting. Labour Minister Milan Krajniak (Sme Rodina) said mainly the Association of Towns and Villages of Slovakia (ZMOS), the Confederation of Trade Unions (KOZ) and the Federation of Employers’ Associations (AZZZ) had the most objections.

The draft will now be discussed by the cabinet on October 14; it has to be submitted to the parliament by October 15.

What are the priorities?

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