The Draft Budget for the Years 2017 and 2018. How Will the Government Spend the Money?
In the next two years, the Government of Slovenia plans to continue the gradual consolidation of the public finances. More funds will be allocated to the public safety, infrastructure, science and health.
The Parliamentary Speaker Milan Brglez next week is planning to convene an extraordinary session, during which MPs will familiarize themselves with the budget memorandum and the draft amendments to the Budget of Slovenia for the years 2017 and 2018.
The Prime Minister of Slovenia Miroslav Cerar and the Minister of Finance Mateja Vranichar Erman will present the documents to the deputies. After the presentation, the discussion is not planned. All comments will be reviewed in advance during the meetings of the parliamentary committees.
The draft budget of Slovenia for 2017 provides for the biggest sum of the budgetary expenditures of 9.527 billion euros, which is 3.8% more than this year. The projected revenues should amount to 8.846 billion euros. The budget deficit in 2017 is estimated at 681 million euros (1.6% of GDP).
In 2018, the budget expenditures will increase by 0.5% to 9.573 billion euros, while the revenues will reach 9.267 billion euros, which is 4.8% more than in 2017. Thus, the budget deficit in 2018 will decrease by 306 million euros (0.7% of GDP).
The government forecasts that in 2017 and 2018, it will continue gradual consolidation of public finances and will work towards a successful restructuring of the public debt. In 2017, Slovenia will allocate 973 million euros for the payment of loans, and in 2018—970 million euros.
Less funds for the repayment of loans
The expenses for repayment of loans are by more than 8% higher than the level of planned expenditures in 2016. This factor coupled with higher incomes, which are expected to being received, will enable the Government of Slovenia to release funding for policing, infrastructure, science and health.
In support of infrastructure and the improvement of living and working conditions in 2017, it is planned to allocate 522 million euros, and in 2018—595 million euros. These amounts include approximately 166 million euros for the investments in highways and infrastructure in 2017 and 2018. The investments in rail transport in 2017 will amount to 158 million euros, and in 2018—206 million euros.
Funding for science and health
In the draft budget for 2017, it is allocated almost 370 million euros for the development of science and the employment sphere, and in 2018—393.5 million euros (for comparison, in 2016 the figure was 276.5 million euros).
The resources to improve the quality of health services will increase to 97 million euros (in 2017), and then to 103 million euros (in 2018). In 2016, this sum will amount to 77.5 million euros.
The expenditures for the overall security will also increase from the current 1 billion euros to about 1.2 billion euros for both 2017 and 2018.
The municipalities are dissatisfied with the allocated funds. In 2017, the Government has identified a lump sum allowance of 530 euros per capita, while the Association of Municipalities insists on the sum of 536 euros. However, it is planned that such a measure will only be available in 2018.