Bulgaria: GERB-SDS and WCC-DB propose a Budget with a 3% Deficit without Changing Taxes

Politics | April 27, 2023, Thursday // 15:52
Bulgaria: Bulgaria: GERB-SDS and WCC-DB propose a Budget with a 3% Deficit without Changing Taxes @BNT

Today at noon, the consultations on the budget started in the format of working groups between GERB-SDS and "We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria". In the early afternoon, talks continued at the Ministry of Finance.

GERB-SDS and WCC-DB united around 3 main priorities, on which they do not have any differences. Namely - the budget deficit should be 3%, not 6.4%, as stipulated in the project of the Ministry of Finance, taxes should not be raised and Bulgaria's path to the Eurozone should be confirmed.

At the very beginning of the talks, GERB emphasized the need to discuss the budget and management program at the same time.

"The situation is extraordinary, non-standard. How does this affect the budget process? The two political forces agreed to develop their management program, i.e. - it must also be sustainable. And these two processes must run in parallel at one point must come together in order to achieve the goals we have set for ourselves. What will come out as the final result will be the basis on which the state will be governed and responsibility for its implementation will be borne," said Kiril Ananiev from GERB- SDS.

Asen Vassilev, the co-chairman of "We Continue the Change", proposed preparing a series of questions to the Ministry of Finance, based on which several budget scenarios should be prepared. At the heart of these questions is what happens to the money invested in the draft budget from the second tranche of the Recovery and Resilience Plan and why the state's expenses have been increased, according to Vassilev, by 42% this year.

"It is good to see the basic budget that the Ministry of Finance has developed, to look at what policies are involved and where there are reserves. And then we see possibly what space is left for additional measures that would come as a result of the management program and to prioritize this. To begin with, perhaps my proposal is to the Ministry of Finance to ask a series of questions to prepare a series of scenarios.

The one scenario that I think is reasonable -- what happens if we get one of the two payments this year, which seems to be the most realistic scenario. If we implement all the bills and measures that are outside the bills and which are 60 in number, that are within the government, that should have been implemented by December last year, let's say that by the middle of the year, they can possibly be implemented, to receive payment on this basis. The measures for the third payment may not be very realistic to think that they will be implemented", said Asen Vassilev, "We Continue the Change-Democratic Bulgaria".

Tomislav Donchev from GERB-SDS called, in addition to consolidating the budget, to hold talks on consolidating political priorities.

"A concrete example - in your program, investments of the order of 12.5 billion are pledged, which was announced that this number should be slightly revised in view of the budgetary realities. The two processes should run in parallel.

For me, the primary question to be answered by the Ministry of Finance is to realize what are the possible reserves in the budget. A question we don't have an answer to. For example - what part of the capital program is financed by the republican budget and what part by European funds. Because we commented that we can safely base the state's investment program for 1 or 2 years entirely on funds from the old period, the new program period, measures and the Recovery and Resilience Plan. Here, the cost is on average about 20% for the co-financing of the projects, but in a crisis period we can spend 1 or 2 years without smaller or larger projects financed by the state. But we don't know what we have in the capital program", pointed out Tomislav Donchev.

WCC-DB suggest that the projects worth more than BGN 50 million be considered one by one, so that there is no loss of large funds.

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/Bulgarian National Television

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Tags: GERB, WCC-DB, budget, deficit
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