Bulgaria: Record Investments are Set in the 2022 Budget
“Many of the policies set out in the coalition agreement cannot be valued in this budget because of the short time. But we plan an update in the middle of the year that will include everything. This is a budget that is trying to achieve a lasting change in the parameters and trajectory of economic growth in the country.” This was stated by the Minister of Finance Asen Vassilev, who presented the highlights of the financial framework for 2022. For the first time since 1997, our country entered the new year without an adopted financial framework.
There are three main focuses in the budget: increasing capital investment, investing in people and social justice, and ensuring an adequate standard of living for all Bulgarian citizens.
“GDP growth of 4.8 percent is set, as well as a reduction in unemployment and a deficit without COVID measures of 2.5 percent, and with them - 4.5 percent,” said Vassilev.
Doubling of capital investments is also envisaged.
“Investing in people is the most important way to achieve high levels of income and a peaceful life. There are investments in children's health care, additional subsidies for hospitals and those in remote regions that cannot be supported only by money from the Health Insurance Fund,” pointed out the minister.
BGN 13 million will be invested in free nurseries from April 1, and BGN 80 million - for free kindergartens. Another BGN 70 million are allocated for the construction and expansion of kindergartens. “There will be compensation for parents who do not have the opportunity to enroll their children there,” the minister promised.
BGN 23 million are given to finance medical care in the health offices of schools, nurseries and kindergartens.
Teachers' salaries remain at 125% of the average salary, which means an additional BGN 315 million. “BGN 16 million are given to support nutrition so that children have normal meals,” Vassilev stressed.
“Sports events such as the Mathematics and Culture Olympiads will be financed. BGN 5.5 million will be spent on increasing scholarships. BGN 36 million will be allocated for the much-needed renovations of galleries, theaters and operas”, Vassilev pointed out.
BGN 250 million will go to pre-hospital care.
BGN 90 million are allocated to increase family benefits for children. BGN 56.7 million will go to improve the conditions for inclusion of social groups and people with disabilities. BGN 223 million will be used to ensure the effect of the minimum wage and raising the salary coefficient of personal assistants. BGN 50 million will go for targeted heating subsidies.
BGN 10 million will be given to increase the daily amount of unemployment benefits. BGN 22 million are given to increase the amount of childcare allowance for children up to 2 years of age. BGN 852 million have been set aside for pension supplements for the first 6 months.
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