Parliament Adopts 2020 State Budget Bill on First Reading
Parliament Wednesday adopted on first reading the 2020 State Budget Bill proposed by the Finance Ministry with 126 votes in favour and 92 against. The Bill sets the expenditures and revenues at 46,826.5 million leva each.
Next year the GDP growth is projected at 3.3 per cent, driven by domestic demand. Inflation is forecast at 2.3 per cent at the end of 2020 and at 2.1 per cent in mid-2020. The unemployment rate is expected to slow down its decrease and reach 4.1 percent.
The 2020 state budget prioritizes education, healthcare, defence, pension policy and income policy.
Next year Bulgaria's contribution to the EU budget will amount to 1,397.4 million leva, up by 115.3 million leva from 2019.
The Movement for Rights and Freedoms (MRF) and BSP for Bulgaria described the draft 2020 state budget as "more of the same".
The Left wing said this is a "budget of stagnation".
The MRF criticized the draft budget for its lack of reforms and proposed a debate on differential VAT as an instrument for economic development.
The GERB parliamentary group explained that the draft budget takes into view the Government's priorities and is yet another met promise to Bulgarian citizens. The budget is implementable, predictable and guarantees the peace of mind of the business and the people.
The Volya parliamentary group said the draft budget is inertive but they will support it because they are responsible and consistent.
During the parliamentary sitting, Supreme Judicial Council (SJC) head Boyan Magdalinchev presented a position on the 2020 State Budget Bill.
He said the 771.3 million leva of expenditures set in the Judiciary's budget are not sufficient to cover activities for the appointment of 110 judicial employees, repair and acquisition of buildings worth 33 million leva, an update of the personnel's remunerations, and a change in the classifications of administrative positions at the prosecuting magistracy, the Supreme Court of Cassation, the Supreme Administrative Court, and courts. In comparison, the draft budget of the Judiciary elaborated by the SJC sets expenditures at 859.3 million leva, Magdalinchev specified.
The SJC's draft budget of the Judiciary sets revenues from court fees at 110 million leva, compared to the 116 million leva proposed by the Finance Ministry, because the last years have seen a downward trend in revenues from such fees, Magdalinchev said.