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The government meets today to adopt budget proposals for 2014 and 2015, which target a narrowing of deficits to 2.9% and 2.4% of GDP respectively. According to the Slovenian Press Agency (SPA) the proposed draft assumes revenues of €8.63bn and expenditures of €9.64, which we think it represents a 7% YY increase on the revenue side and 0% on the expenditure side if we compare it to the 2013 budget plan, but it could represent a 13% and 2% increase if we compare the 2014 proposal to our projection of total 2013 revenue and expenditure based on the year-to-date development of 2013's budget compared to seasonal development in recent years.
Though the Slovene government will send its proposed 2014 budget to the European Commission on 1 October, it seems that recent political tensions have limited a government effort to continue fiscal consolidation through the expenditure side (e.g. a proposed, but not realized, cut in pensions) and the government is likely to rely more on the revenue side through a proposed higher real estate tax (€216mn according to the SPA), unchanged corporate income tax at 17% (versus its initial proposal of a drop to 15% in 2015), a July hike in VAT rates to 22% and 9.5% from 20% and 8.5% initially, and generally higher revenues thanks to its effort to combat the grey economy.
Moreover, the High Court said that unpaid salaries to some public employees from 2008 should be paid, which represent an additional expenditure of €170mn, which is 0.5% of GDP (the August central government deficit reached 4.1% of GDP on a 12month cumulative basis). Though this is likely to be reflected in some lowering of salaries of public employee ahead, it will result in further ad-hoc expenditure cuts unless we see a stronger recovery on the revenue side.
Comment: Though proposed measures are likely to increase the revenue side of the 2014 budget, we expect that the EC is likely to criticize the mix of consolidation measures due to a likely optimistic projection of the revenue side, while the expenditure side is likely to remain flat at best. All in all, although the general focus is now on banking sector resolution, now expected to be proposed by end November, fiscal issues are likely to remain another negative factor for Slovenia.
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Povezane vesti na srpskom
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