Slovenia increases 2023 budget deficit to offset energy crisis
The Slovenian parliament on Wednesday passed budget plans for 2023 and 2024 that will strongly increase the deficit next year, due to spending aimed at reducing the impact of energy crisis, Trend reports citing Xinhua.
Slovenia's budget deficit is due to increase to 5.3 percent of gross domestic product (GDP) next year, up from less than 4 percent in 2022. Meanwhile, it should ease to 2.6 percent in 2024, the government said.
The deficit is mainly a consequence of the conflict in Ukraine, which is "the main reason for the energy crisis and consequently for stubborn and high inflation in Europe," Finance Minister Klemen Bostjancic told parliament, when presenting the budget plans.
The government will next year spend some 1.2 billion euros (1.24 billion U.S. dollars) on measures that will ease the burden of high energy costs on companies and the population, he said.
Budget spending will reach 16.7 billion euros next year, and fall to 15.5 billion in 2024, while budget income is foreseen at 13.4 billion euros in 2023, and 13.8 billion in 2024. The 2023 budget spending will be the highest in Slovenia's history, and well above the spending of 14.6 billion euros planned for 2022.
The government hopes that its 2023 measures aimed at easing the impact of the energy crisis will help towards the reduction of inflation. This year, inflation in Slovenia has reached the highest level in over 20 years, standing at 10 percent year-on-year in October, up from 3.5 percent a year ago.
(1 euro = 1.04 U.S. dollars)
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