Parliament approves the 2019 first reading budget (OBZOR)



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November 8, 2018 | 01:06 | FOCUS News Agency

Photo: Information Agency

Parliament approves the 2019 first reading budget (OBZOR)Photo: FOCUS Information Agency

Parliament adopted the first-reading vote of 2019 with 115 votes in favor and 85 against. The budget was with the votes of GERB and United Patriots. It was supported by a deputy and an independent deputy. The "anti" budget was voted by the BSP and the MRF. The plenary vote was attended by almost all Cabinet ministers.
The priorities of the 2019 budget are social policy, education, defense and income policy. Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov said: "The budget for 2019 is not pre-election. We are working on our pre-election budget, but we will be reviewing it until the end of 2020." "The elections, at least as we see the government , will be in 2021, "he said. Against criticism that there are no budget reforms, Goranov said the government is ready to discuss any reform proposal that is not an end in itself.
The BSP opposed the next year's financial framework. Leftist leader Kornelia Ninova said that the 2019 Budget is a stagnant budget and the inadequacy being made to survive the government. According to her, next year the government will plunder other lucrative state assets in the economy. MRF also opposes next year's budget. Vice President of MRF Gov. Jordan Tsonev pointed out that the budget does not reflect the country's economic development cycle and does not support growth. He stressed that in 2019 budget planning will continue to be inadequate, with high capital expenditures and surplus, which will be spent on decrees from the Council of Ministers.
Budget revenues will be 43.8 billion leva and by 2021 are estimated to reach 47.5 billion dollars. A deficit of 0.5% of GDP is defined. GDP growth is projected to increase to 3.7% by 2019. Unemployment is projected to fall to 4.8%. The cost in 2019 will be 44.4 billion, and by 2021 it will reach 47.5 billion. The budget foresees 40.4 million heating aid, 50% more than in 2018. 150 million BGN will be granted to disabled people and BGN 7 million to orphaned children without the right to a survivor's pension. Next year, defense spending will reach 1.8 billion lev, which represents 1.58% of the country's GDP. The funds will be allocated to the modernization projects of the Air Force, Land Forces and Navy. Next year, funds for the staff of the Ministry of Interior and the Ministry of Justice will be increased. Municipal revenues will increase by 120.8 million lev compared to those projected for 2018. The minimum wage will increase from 510 to 560 leva. Another 10% are salary and social security contributions for civil servants. The salaries of teachers will be 20% higher and those of non-teaching staff 10%. There will also be an increase in funds for pupils from the first to the fourth year. With more than half a billion lev, more resources will be available to municipalities. By 2019, government debt is expected to decline from $ 22.2 billion to $ 20 billion. Thus, Bulgaria will have the third lowest debt in the EU. Consolidated debt of the general government sector will be in the range of BGN 24.3 to 23.5 billion.
Biljana IVANOVA

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