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Parliament adopts budget 2019 at first reading (OBZOR)



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

Photo: Information Agency

Parliament adopts budget 2019 at first reading (OBZOR)Photo: FOCUS Information Agency

Parliament adopted 2019 first reading with 115 votes in favor and 85 against. The budget went with the votes of GERB and United Patriots. It was supported by one member and one independent member. The "Anti" budget was voted by BSP and MRF. At the plenary vote, almost all ministerial councils participated.
The priorities for the budget 2019 are social policy, education, defense and income policy. Finance Minister Vladislav Goranov said: "The budget for 2019 is not a pre-selection. We are working on our budget before the election, but we will look at it by the end of 2020." "The election, at least as we see the government, will be in 2021 ," he said. Against criticism that there are no reforms in the budget, Goranov said the government is ready to discuss what proposed reform, which is not an end in itself.
BSP opposed the next year's financial framework. Leftist leader Kornelia Ninova said Budget 2019 is a budget for stagnation and the inadequacy made to survive the government. According to her, next year will plunder other profitable state assets in the economy. MRF also opposes next year's budget. Vice Chairman of MRF Gov. Jordan Tsonev pointed out that the budget does not reflect the economic development in the country and does not support growth. He pointed out that the budget planning in 2019 will still be insufficient, with high investments and surpluses that will be spent with the decree of the Council of Ministers.
Budget revenue is 43.8 billion, and in 2021 it is estimated at 47.5 billion. A deficit of 0.5% of GDP is set. GDP growth is expected to increase to 3.7% in 2019. Unemployment is expected to decline to 4.8%. The cost for 2019 will be 44.4 billion, and by 2021 it is expected to reach 47.5 billion. The budget provides 40.4 million living benefits for heating aid, 50% more than 2018. BGN 150 million will be granted to disabled people and BGN 7 million for orphans without entitlement to survivors' pensions. Next year, defense costs will reach 1.8 billion, which is 1.58 percent of the country's GDP. The funds will be awarded to the Air Force, Land Force and Navy Modernization projects. During the next year, staff resources within the Ministry of the Interior and the Ministry of Justice will increase. Local government revenues increase by 120.8 million living compared to those forecast for 2018. Minimum wage increases from 510 to 560 live. 10% more are salaries and social security contributions for civil servants. Teachers' salaries will be 20% higher and those who are not teachers with 10%. There will also be an increase in funds earmarked for students in the first quarter. With more than half a billion lives, more funds will be available to the municipalities. By 2019, central government debt is expected to decline from 22.2 to 20 billion. Bulgaria will thus have the third lowest debt in the EU. The public sector's consolidated debt will be in the range of 24.3-23.5 billion BGN.
Biljana IVANOVA

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