10th June 2018, Skopje – Public finances in Macedonia have improved, being also confirmed by both the international financial institutions and the European Commission, Minister of Finance, Dragan Tevdovski, said in a statement at the occasion of one year since the Government was formed.
– Unlike before, the citizens now have control over the government spending, funds are spent in a prudent manner, and both the investors and the international financial institutions have regained confidence in the fiscal policy. Improving the living standard of the citizens is accomplished through several measures, Tevdovski said.
As Tevdovski underlined, following the forming of the Government, the citizens have insight into how public funds are spent through series of measures aimed at improving the transparency.
-One of the first measures was the preparation of the Citizen’s Budget. Public finances have thus became available and easy to be understood by the citizens. Series of reports on Budget execution, not been published before, are now available. Public contracts concluded by the institutions are available to the public, Tevdosvki said.
Minister of Finance pointed out that, in addition to having insight in how public funds are spent, the public now also has an active role in adopting the Budget. Public debates with the NGOs, the experts, the Chambers and the Unions were organized for the 2018 Budget, even before it was submitted to the Government for adoption. Law on Public Procurement was also under public debate.
-Unlike before, public funds are now invested properly. Investments are made in improving the citizens’ life. Now, funds are not spent for Ferris Wheels, monuments, facades, palm trees and weeping willows. Funds are now allocated for the key pillars of the society – higher wages in the Army, the health sector, the education and the child care. More funds are allocated for approximation to NATO standards, support to domestic companies, and the highest amount of funds so far is allocated for employment measures, Tevdovski said.
Minister of Finance said that this Government repaid large portion of the debts inherited from the previous Government.
-Raising public debt is under control for the first time after a longer period of time. Public debt dropped annually for the first time after 9 years. Interest rates on borrowing are significantly reduced now. VAT is refunded fast and on a non-selective basis, which significantly contributes to improving the companies’ liquidity, Tevdovski said.
Investors’ confidence is also increased. Fitch Credit Rating Agency upgraded Macedonia’s credit rating outlook. Investors’ confidence was also evident through historically the lowest interest rate on the Eurobond and the issuance of 30-year treasury bond, Tevdovski underlined.
The Minister said that priority of the Government was to improve the living standard of the citizens. One of the first measures the Government adopted, pertaining to increasing the minimum wage, was aimed thereto.
-Increasing the minimum wage led to increasing the wages of more than 90,000 workers. What is the most important is that high growth of wages was registered in the lowest paid sectors. However, we do not stop here. The Government has announced a financial support for wage increase. The state will support the wage increase for the workers receiving an average net wage of up to Denar 18,000. Our goal is to boost the wage spiral, Tevdovski said.
Minister of Finance pointed out that the Government adopted Public Financial Management Reform Program for the first time, prepared together with the European Union, incorporating an Implementation Action Plan.
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