Bulgaria Adopts 2015 Budget with 3% Deficit
Bulgaria’s parliament has approved the 2015 budget with deficit equivalent to 3% of the projected Gross Domestic Product.
In a marathon session that lasted for 17 hours until early morning hours on Saturday, the MP’s passed in second and final reading the budget that also projects real economic growth of 0.8% and fresh gross borrowing of BGN 8.1 B that will increase Bulgaria’s net debt by BGN 2 B to BGN 24.5 B at end-2015.
Budget revenue is projected at 36.8% of GDP and expenditure is set at 39.8% of GDP.
The minimum wage, to which some social benefits and pension insurance payments are tied, will rise in two steps of BGN 20 each to BGN 360 and then BGN 380 from 1 1anuary and 1 July next year, respectively.
Earlier in the same session, the lawmakers approved a contentious change to the pension insurance model that has been in force since 2001.
Despite opposition from junior coalition partner the Reformist Bloc, the main party in the coalition, centre-right GERB joined forces with opposition liberal Movement for Rights and Freedoms (DPS) and several MPs from the Bulgarian Democratic Center (BDC) to push through the change that make private pension contributions optional.
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