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Monday, December 5, 2022

The fiscal council is very critical of the actions of the government and the budget: There is a risk that the funds will not be allocated to mitigating costliness and the energy crisis!

By: Sara Kovač /Nova24tv.si

“The realisation additionally confirms the assessment that the accepted amending state budget is unrealistic,” the fiscal council wrote today. At the same time, they warn of the risk that the government will not allocate the funds of the intervention legislation to mitigating the consequences of rising prices and the energy crisis.

The implementation of this year’s budget by October confirms the fiscal council’s assessment that the unrealistically high regular spending rights determined in the budget adopted in October last year were not adequately adjusted through the amending. “The actual realisation of the amending state budget would mean that spending without the direct effect of measures to mitigate the consequences of the epidemic and the cost of living would amount to around 1.7 billion euros per month on average in the last two months of the year, which is around 0.8 billion euros more than the average of the first ten months,” they estimated in the latest monthly publication.

According to them, the implementation of the budget so far confirms their assessment that the amending is unrealistic and that it did not represent an adequate basis for the preparation of budget documents for 2023 and 2024. “The creation of so much room for manoeuvre for expenditure also seemingly reduces the importance of the otherwise significant range of measures taken after the implementation of amending state budget, to the final public financial result this year,” they emphasised.

According to them, a comparison of the realisation so far and the adopted amending state budget shows that in the last two months of the year a deficit of as much as 1.76 billion euros was realised, of which 1.16 billion euros was unrelated to measures to mitigate the consequences of the epidemic and the costliness.

The risk that the government will not allocate funds to the costliness

The fiscal council also assessed that the outgoing Covid-19 Act continues the adoption of intervention legislation, which is not necessarily directly related to the event it is supposed to address. “This indicates the risk that even the intervention legislation to mitigate the consequences of the price increase will contain provisions that are not directly related to the energy crisis,” they warned. “The large budget reserve in the budget proposal for 2023 for cost-cutting measures would thus be used for its intended purpose only formally, but in fact, similar to during the epidemic, the funds would be used to solve other problems, also of a systemic nature, which could put a permanent burden on public finances,” they highlighted in the fiscal world.

According to provisional data, the deficit of the state budget in the first 10 months of this year amounted to 283 million euros, and without the direct effect of measures to mitigate the consequences of the covid-19 epidemic and the cost of living, the state budget would have a surplus of 465 million euros. Revenues were 18.2 percent higher interim, without considering the direct effect of measures to mitigate the consequences of the epidemic and inflation. Excluding these effects, expenses were 10.2 percent higher interim. The total volume of state budget expenditures for anti-coronavirus measures from March 2020 to the end of October this year amounts to 5.47 billion euros, of which 672 million euros in the first 10 months of this year. According to the amending state budget, just under 1.1 billion euros should be allocated for these measures in the whole year, which means that another 415 million euros would be spent by the end of the year, the fiscal council stated. The direct financial impact of the measures taken so far to mitigate the effects of the devaluation on the state budget this year was estimated at 440 million euros. In the last two months of the year, slightly less than 200 million euros should have been realised. The total direct effect of all costliness measures taken so far this year was estimated at around 760 million euros.

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