Skopje, 20th March 2016 (MIA) – As regards the past ten years, 150,000 jobs were created, pensions were increased by 70%, capital investment in the Budget surged, while taxes remained low.
In the period from 2006 to 2015, as a result of agricultural subsidies, export of food products doubled. This was announced by Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Zoran Stavreski, on Sunday, at the occasion of reporting on the activities completed in the past years.
– Unemployment reduction is our greatest achievement as a Government. There is no other recipe for unemployment reduction than the one we have been aware of from the very beginning. A lot of effort, hard work, commitment and many upright decisions aimed at the main economic policies we adopted in the past ten years, Stavreski underlined.
He pointed out that out of the 150,000 job created, 28,293 jobs were created in the last two years alone.
– Despite the global crisis and the crisis in Europe, Republic of Macedonia managed to achieve an average growth rate of the economy of 3% in the period 2007 – 2015. As for last year, despite the political conditions, we were on the fourth place with 3.5% economic growth, Stavreski said.
According to him, what contributed to unemployment reduction was reducing taxes, attracting foreign investments and improving the doing business conditions, as well as the active employment policies of the Employment Agency.
He underlined that Macedonia was a leader worldwide in the lowest taxes, also affirmed by the recent research by “Business Insider”.
– Even when, during the global economic crisis and the crisis in Europe, all countries increased taxes, when it was the easiest to shift the burden to the companies and the citizens, we have never increased them, not for a moment. Many countries increased, for instance VAT rate, profit tax rate, etc…, during the global crisis. We were aware that should we had done it, it would have been the workers and the companies to feel the consequences thereof at the end, Deputy Prime Minister Stavreski said, adding that while taxes throughout Europe went up and capital investments dropped, taxes in Macedonia were kept low and capital investments in the Budget increased.
Pensions increased by 70%
In the period 2006 – 2015, average pension in Macedonia was increased by 70%. Last pension amounted to Denar 13,077 in average, hence, compared to 2006, when it amounted to Denar 7,688, this is a 70% increase. The lowest pension on the other hand increased by 84%, Deputy Prime Minister said.
– Our pensioners receive an average pension of EUR 212, taking into account the increases we make from year to year, being higher than the ones in many of the neighbouring countries. Average pension in Serbia amounts to EUR 190, in Bulgaria to EUR 164, in Albania to EUR 140. What pleases the pensioners the most is that they know where they stand with us. They have worked hard for their pensions, they have worked honestly all their lives. Therefore, it is important for them to receive the pensions on time and to receive higher pensions, Stavreski pointed out.
Export of agricultural products and food surged through subsidies
Subsidies to farmers are one of our major promises and it is a pleasure to have met such promise for 10 years in a row now, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, Zoran Stavreski, underlined on Sunday, at the occasion of reporting on the activities completed in the past 10 years.
Talking about agricultural subsidies, Deputy Prime Minister Stavreski said they gave safety and security to the farmer.
He went on by saying that subsidies also contributed to increase of the whole production, and export of agricultural products also surged. – Export of agricultural products amounted to EUR 487 million in 2015, while it accounted for EUR 318 million in 2006. Export of food products doubled in the period from 2006 and 2015. Export of wine and tobacco also surged. Export of all agricultural products has grown in all these years, having positive effects on the trade balance, Deputy Prime Minister Stavreski pointed out.