Ljubljana – Yesterday, the parliament of Republic of Slovenia adopted the 2013 and 2014 budgets. While they are both austerity budgets, they nevertheless include 800 million euros for business incentives. For the first time in 20 years of independence, a part of the opposition has also supported the budget.

The main goal of both budgets was to balance revenues and expenditure by 2015. Therefore, the deficit will be below 3 per cent of the GDP already in 2013, half of what it was in 2011. This will be achieved via a combination of austerity measures, measures aimed at increasing revenue and a package of development incentives worth almost 800 million euros, which are crucial for Slovenia to improve its economic and financial situation.

Additional income will be provided by raising some taxes and duties, including the planned increase of excise duties.

The pension reform, which was adopted by unanimous vote in the Parliament a few days ago, will significantly contribute to cutting spending levels. In addition, expenditure on municipalities will decrease, while austerity measures will continue to apply to material expenses planning.

Next year, the budget income is estimated at about 8.6 billion euros, while expenditure is to total 9.6 billion euros. This means that since 2011 when planned expenditure reached almost 10.4 euros, government expenditure has decreased by almost 800 million euros. In 2014, both income and expenditure are expected to be somewhat lower, totalling 8.4 billion euros and 9.3 billion euros, respectively.

Together with the adopted pension reform, the approval of budgets provides a good basis for carrying out the labour market reform, implementing the Act Establishing the Slovenian Sovereign Holding and the Act on Stabilising the Banking System. All these are priorities of the Government of the Republic of Slovenia aimed at improving the economic situation.