Bulgaria's Govt Approves 2017 Budget in Emergency Meeting

Politics » DOMESTIC | October 31, 2016, Monday // 09:36
Bulgaria: Bulgaria's Govt Approves 2017 Budget in Emergency Meeting File photo, BGNES

The Bulgarian cabinet has approved the central budget and health and social insurance expenditure for next year in an emergency cabinet meeting.

Government sessions are usually held on Wednesday, but ministers have to submit the budget drafts to Parliament by Monday, October 31.

Bulgaria's 2017 budget, as drafted by the Finance Ministry, foresees an increase in overall expenditures, notably in education, where teachers' salaries will go up, defense and healthcare. It includes a deficit of BGN 1.3 B, or 1.4% of GDP.

Funding has been set aside on a long-pending deal to acquire new multirole fighter aircraft to overhaul the military's capabilities. The judiciary will also benefit from a nearly double increase, with BGN 21 M, up from BGN 12 M this year, allocated to the Supreme Judicial Council.

In addition, an increase in the minimum monthly wage - at BGN 460, up from BGN 420 - is to be enforced as of January 01.

Pension installments are to go up 1%. The pension ceiling remains BGN 910.

More than 26 000 children will receive financial assistance from which children with severe disabilities (of over 90%) will benefit the most (BGN 930 each), while those with a disability of 50-70% will be handed out BGN 350 monthly.

Tax deductions for cashless payment has also been foreseen in the budget, but it will go hand in hand with a permanent monitoring on debtors.

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Tags: cabinet meeting, government, Supreme Judicial Council, budget
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