Parliamentary Committee Approves Bulgaria's 2016 Draft Budget
The Budget and Finance Committee of the Bulgarian parliament approved on Monday the draft government budget for next year.
The chairperson of the committee, Menda Stoyanova, proposed the planned cuts to the social benefits of police officers, which had been the cause of large-scale protests across the country earlier in November, to be dropped.
In order for the proposed cuts to be finally withdrawn, the MPs will have to reject them at their plenary sitting on Tuesday.
Apart from the 2016 draft government budget, the committee also adopted the draft budgets of the State Social Insurance and the National Health Insurance Fund (NZOK).
The three draft budgets are expected to be discussed in the plenary chamber on Tuesday, daily Dnevnik informs.
The committee voted in favour of the increase of pensions by 2.5 % starting from 1 July 2016.
The unemployment and maternity benefits will retain their 2015 levels, respectively BGN 7 per day and BGN 340 per month during the second year of maternity.
The committee also approved to increase the salaries of officials of the National Social Security Institute (NOI) by a total of BGN 2 M next year.
The committee also decided to increase the funding allocated to culture by BGN 10 M, with the funds to be split between the culture ministry and the municipalities.
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