Bulgaria's 2024 State Budget Approved with 3% Deficit to Meet Eurozone Criteria

Business » FINANCE | November 24, 2023, Friday // 18:44
Bulgaria: Bulgaria's 2024 State Budget Approved with 3% Deficit to Meet Eurozone Criteria

Bulgaria's government greenlights the 2024 state budget, securing approval for the medium-term forecast and insurance budgets. Finance Minister Assen Vassilev notes potential revisions if revenues exceed expectations.

Aligned with Maastricht criteria, the budget maintains a 3% deficit, ensuring compliance for Eurozone entry. Minister Vassilev emphasizes that revenues align with economic growth and effective tax legislation.

Prime Minister Nikolay Denkov commends the budget's preparation and foresees timely adoption post-discussion in the National Assembly, scheduled for January 1, 2024.

The Finance Ministry's forecasts project a GDP growth of 3.2% in 2024, hitting BGN 205.8 billion, bolstered by investment growth. Employment rises as unemployment declines, anticipated at around 4% on average and 3.9% by the period's close.

Key aspects encompass an augmented minimum wage, higher maximum contributory income, and an anticipated 11% wage increase in both private and public sectors. Public debt caps at BGN 48 billion for 2024.

Finance Minister Vassilev emphasizes ongoing demographic improvement initiatives and aims for sustained family support. Bulgaria targets increased incomes by 11% and a parallel rise in pensions, envisioning 65-70% of the average European income to draw people back to the country.

Additionally, the budget allocates BGN 1 billion for municipal projects, ensuring transparency and public access. Municipalities will submit projects by March 1, empowering councils and mayors in decision-making.

Parliament's discussions will primarily focus on capital programs, with detailed investment projects becoming transparent and subject to careful committee scrutiny.

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Tags: Bulgaria, budget, Eurozone, Vassilev

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