Finance minister calls on MPs to approve 2021 budget

Finance minister calls on MPs to approve 2021 budget

Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides on Monday called on MPs to approve the state budget for next year, citing the need for the financial management of the pandemic and recovering from its impact.

 

Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides on Monday called on MPs to approve the state budget for next year, citing the need for the financial management of the pandemic and recovering from its impact.

He was presenting the 2021 state budget to the House finance committee. Next year’s budget is €609 million or 8.7 per cent more than last year’s as the government seeks to enhance the budget’s social dimension, including emergency measures to support vulnerable groups, employees and companies, but also to strengthen its growth aspect.

“What I want to emphasise again is the criticality of the moments concerning the financial management of the pandemic,” he said, adding that everyone must help the country recover from Covid-19, but also lay the foundations for a sustainable economy through the 2021 budget.

Responding to a remark by the head of the committee Diko MP Christiana Erotokritou, he acknowledged that the discussion “is not conducted in the best possible atmosphere.”

Nevertheless, he said, “the challenges for the economy exist, so does Covid-19” hence the significance of the 2021 budget and the need to vote on it.

He highlighted the importance of this year’s budget compared to previous ones, saying that “it is different from others due to uncertainty, but also due to the extent of uncertainty.”

He reiterated that this was “an emergency budget.”

He added that the budget was prepared in such a way so as not to create a fiscal diversion that would bring the country into a difficult situation.

According to Petrides, the first goal is to deal with the consequences of the crisis in the best possible way and to create the foundations for the production of primary surpluses.

The ministry of finance forecasts a budget deficit for the period 2020-23 and an increase in public debt as a percentage of GDP in 2020, due to the new economic conditions.

The government budget for 2021 predicts revenues of €8,861,318,757 and primary expenditures (excluding loan repayments and interest expenses) of €7,609,847,339, with the primary balance amounting to €1,251,471,418.

The main categories of expenditure in the 2021 budget concern personnel expenditure of €2,946 million (27.9 per cent), operating expenditure of €896 million (8.5 per cent), transfers of €2,982 million (28.2 per cent) and loans amounting to €2,426 million (23 per cent).

 

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