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Budgetary deficit supposed to be under 1 percent for the first time.

MPs approved the public administration budget for the next year, with 82 voting for it, and 59 against.Slovak parliament passed the public finances draft budget for 2018 on December 13. For the first time in history, the budgetary deficit is estimated to fall under 1 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP): to 0.

83 percent. In 2019, the deficit should be at 0.

1 percent of GDP, and by 2020, the goal for the budget is to be balanced, the TASR newswire wrote.Of the 141 MP present, 82 were for the draft filed by the Finance Ministry, while 59 were against.

If these goals are achieved, the level of public debt is calculated at closely below 50 percent of GDP (i.e.

49.9 percent). The debt should further fall until 2020 to around 45 percent of GDP.

The state budget is expected to have a cash deficit of 1.973 billion next year, while overall revenues are slated at Pound 13.983 billion and expenses at Pound 15.956 billion.

The basis for calculating the budget was a macro-economic prognosis foreseeing the national economy as growing at 4.2 percent in 2018.Reasons behind the future acceleration of economic growthBehind the acceleration of the economy's growth is mostly the planned launch of production in car plants and the related growth of exports.

"We can say there will be sound economic growth based on domestic consumption," Finance Minister Peter Kazimir said, as cited by TASR. "It includes key investments, too.

"The approved draft budget includes priorities agreed to by coalition partners: the increase of minimum wage, support for commuting, an increase in extra payments for night-work and work during weekends and holidays."The draft budget comprises many priorities," Kazimir commented, as quoted by TASR.

"For example, the refunding of the obligation to increase the salaries of state's employees, an increase in the funding of education, big investment projects to be subsidised from the state reserve, legislative amendments in social insurance and employment services already passed, etc. These are massive laws, also in terms of their impact on public finances.

"MPs also passed the amending draft to the draft state budget, which enables the taking over of a framework loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB) of up to Pound 300 million.Several opposition MPs had reservations concerning the draft budget during the parliamentary debate.

They mainly criticised Peter Kazimir for postponing consolidation plans and achieving a balanced economy for later compared to earlier promises, TASR reported. 13. Dec 2017 at 13:39 |Compiled by Spectator staff

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Publication:Slovak Spectator (Bratislava, Slovakia)
Date:Dec 13, 2017
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