Bulgarian FinMin Snubs EC View on Social Benefits
The European Commission has issued a special statement informing that the decision on social benefits of retirees is an exclusive competence of Member States and does not depend on the amounts reimbursed by EC under the Cohesion and Structural Funds.
The statement came on the heels of words of Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister, Simeon Djankov, who explained at the end of 2012 that Bulgarian retirees will not receive the so-called Christmas bonuses because EC has delayed payments owed to Bulgaria.
The Minister counters now the EC opinion, firmly insisting there is a connection between social benefits and delayed payments because the delay increases the country's budget gap, which can lead to violations of the State Budget Act.
He reminded that at the end of 2012, Bulgaria expected payments from Brussels in the amount of BGN 800 M.
"In order to keep the fiscal frame as the law mandates we had to foresee the possibility this money could come in 2013," Djankov concluded.
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I always thought that payments that are not yet received should still be registered as income and counted as such when calculating profit/loss or budget gap/excess (just like the state should count VAT returns as expenses even if they haven't been paid yet). Is it me or Djankov who needs a lesson in accountancy?