Ljubljana, January 30, 2015/ Independent Balkan News Agency
Review Haris Stefanatos
The Slovenian government adopted yesterday the supplementary budget for 2015 setting the deficit ae EUR 1.39 billion or 2.89% of the GDP.
Finance Minister Dušan Mramor said that the revision of the budget is “investment orientated”. Investment spending is budgeted at a high level because “we did not want to kill economic growth with excessive belt-tightening”, the minister said.
Expected revenue are at EUR 8.56 billion, 64 million less than in the current document, mainly due to the failure to implement the real estate tax, that gap the left was only partially covered with other revenue sources.
Exenditure on the other hand, was revised upwards by over EUR 467 million, to EUR 9.95 billion, as a result of higher interest payments stemming from the 2013 bank bailout and higher than expected pension transfers.
Expenditure on asset purchases will be 41% above their 2014 level and investment transfers will rise by a fifth. Overall investment spending will rise 30% compared to the year before.
“The bulk of the deficit above the one-billion mark is due to the fact that we will cover for the EU funds from the previous financial period that will be refunded in a few years,” Mramor said.
Finance minister stated that the implementation of the budget does not require additional borrowing this year, but given the historically low levels of interest rates, the government will consider borrowing pre-finance spending over a long period.
The coalition partners acknowledged prior to the cabinet session that nobody was entirely pleased with the budget, but that it was the best compromise possible under the current conditions. As Mramor said, yesterday’s cabinet session was very quiet. “It appears we resolved all issues in a manner acceptable to all ministers”, he said.
“Judging by the faces I saw, none of the ministers are happy…But when you enter the government you know you just cannot disburse funds the way they used to,” said Matjaž Han, deputy group leader for the Social Democrats (SD).
Franc Jurša, the leader of the Pensioners’ Party (DeSUS) faction, likewise said “nobody can be satisfied”, but he was quick to point out that his party would push for changes in the coming months.