1st March 2020, Skopje – In January, 119,500 employees had their wages increased by Denar 3,500 in average as a result of the wage subsidy measure. Denar 2.4 billion is allocated therefore in this year’s Budget, Minister of Finance, Nina Angelovska, said in bankarstvo.mk interview. She underlined that the objective of this measure was to assist the companies in keeping their quality personnel, at the same time pointing out that the private sector was the one to be driving force of growth. Therefore, their competitiveness is stimulated by measures and long-term policies on productivity growth.

– Finding and keeping quality personnel is of great importance for the business. Therefore, wage subsidy measure is aimed at helping the companies keep their the quality personnel. This year’s Budget envisages Denar 2.4 billion for subsidizing higher wages. I can say that the measure yields really goods results. Hence, in January 2020, thanks to the measure, 119,500 employees had their wages increased by around Denar 3,500 in average. In January, 22,000 companies applied this wage subsidy measure, Angelovska said.

Denar 6.7 billion in total is allocated in this year’s Budget directly as support to the private sector, i.e. the one to generate economic growth, Angelovska pointed out.

– Funds in the amount of Denar 3 billion are allocated in the Budget through the measures for competitiveness improvement as support to the companies in replacing their old technology with new one, investing in new capacities, encouraging export, supporting entrepreneurship, etc. In addition, it is very important to bridge the gap between labour market supply and demand. This can be achieved by increasing the adequacy of labour market supply through the active employment measures, Denar 1.3 billion being allocated therefore in this year’s Budget, being more by twice compared to 2016 or by three times in relation to 2014. Data that unemployment is at the lowest level so far of 17.1% speaks in favour thereof, around 60,000 jobs being created, Angelovska said.

Minister of Finance underlined that economic growth in the two years was broad based, i.e. it was based on growth in all sectors, unlike before, when it was mainly driven by public investments in the construction sector.

– In order for growth to be sustainable, economy to develop, the private sector is the one that should be the driving force of growth and creators of value added. What does the private sector need? It needs a productive labour force, new technologies and support to new investments and conquering new market. Fiscal policy is aimed precisely thereto, Angelovska said.

She emphasized that economic growth depended on people’s productivity, a fact that was long ignored, which was also evident in the Human Capital Index which the World Bank measures, being only 0.53 for the country. This means that when today’s children grow up, they will use only half of their potential productivity in accordance with what the country invests in them today. Therefore, this year’s Budget is aimed at investments in human capital, Angelovska said, pointing out that more than 60% of the expenditure side of the Budget for this year is aimed at health, education and social issues as areas of focus.

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