New stimulus package in parliament on Wednesday

New stimulus package in parliament on Wednesday

Parliamentary Speaker Igor Zorčič has announced that the new stimulus package, adopted by the government on Sunday to mitigate the impact of coronavirus, will be discussed and voted on in the National Assembly on Wednesday.

A day earlier, the legislation will be discussed by the Finance Committee, Zorčič said on Monday after the college of deputy group leaders meeting which determined the agenda of Wednesday's emergency session.

The measures supporting companies, self-employed, pensioners and other vulnerable groups will be fast tracked in parliament.

Estimated at EUR 3 billion, the package includes bonuses for vital staff and a pay cut for public office holders, and support measures for companies like pay compensation for temporary lay-offs, and tax and loan payment deferrals.

It also includes loan guarantees and financing of social contributions, temporary basic income for the self-employed and allowances for pensioners, large families and students.

Government secretary general Božo Predalič said ahead of today's meeting that the government was aware of the problems faced by citizens and businesses due to the epidemic, which he labelled "one of the hardest tests since WWII".

The government proposes that the package mitigating the epidemic and preventing its spreading is processed in the National Assembly in a fast-track procedure as the "measures need to be taken resolutely and immediately."

All deputy groups bar the opposition Left, which abstained, agreed that the package should be fast-tracked, while there was less consensus on when the session should be held.

The entire opposition except the National Party (SNS) said it would like to have more time to examine the legislation and file possible amendments, proposing that the session be held on Thursday.

A representative of the parliamentary legal service also said some additional time would be welcome, but added that an opinion would be nevertheless delivered in time.

Part of the opposition is of the opinion that the package should be divided into a part dealing with financial assistance to individuals and the economy and a part dealing with police powers, including regarding the enforcement of quarantine.

Also on the agenda of Wednesday's session will be the appointment of two replacement MPs as Jelka Godec and Franc Breznik of the senior coalition Democrats (SDS) have been given posts in the government.

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