Skopje, 16th December 2013 (MIA) – 2014 Budget will provide for more intensified economic growth by realizing capital investments, being higher by 11% in relation to this year and social stability will be retained through the increased pensions and social assistance, as well as through the increased subsidies by EUR 140 million.

This was pointed out by Deputy Primer Minister and Minister of Finance Zoran Stavreski, elaborating the 2014 Draft Budget to the Members of the Parliament in the Parliament.

Total Budget revenues are projected at Denar 158,343 million. Expenditures are projected at Denar 176,514 million, while the deficit is projected at 3.5% of GDP. Economy growth for 2014 is projected at 3.2%, while the inflation will remain at low level, i.e. at 3.3%.

– One function of the Budget is to compensate the effect of the still weak European economy, and by higher capital expenditures, to achieve higher economic growth rates, the Minister said, adding that Macedonia is the only SEE country that has fiscal room to maintain the budget deficit at higher levels in order to help Macedonian economy.

He stressed that given these two functions, the deficit was set to support Macedonian economy, being attententive to the level of debt, which is sustainable on the long run and thus Macedonia will be able repay its debt without any big problems.

He went on that the expenditures are consistent with the economic policies of the Government since 2006, which provide for, as he pointed out, Macedonia to remain a country with lowest taxes. No tax is envisaged to be increased. Revenue structure will remain the same where tax revenues and revenues on the basis of social contributions will have the dominant share, Stavreski said.

On the expenditure side, he stressed that the tendency of improving the structure will continue in 2014 as well, whereby there will be increase of capital expenditures from 11.9% in 2013 to 12.7% in 2014. Current expenditure, as he stressed, will increase with 3.9% being a result of the envisaged increase of pensions, salaries in the public sector, social benefits and subsidies. He pointed out that strict control over other current expenditures will continue in 2014. Denar 77,667 million was projected for social transfers, Denar 22,217 million for health protection, funds are also envisaged for new social rights, i.e. payment for the right to special allowance for single parents, children with development impairments, right to allowance for deafness, allowance for mobility is increased, funds are planned for the existing daily centers, soup kitchens and for electricity for the most vulnerable categories, Denar 5 million more was envisaged for agricultural subsidies in relation to this year and they will reach historically the highest level of EUR 140 million.

– This is the policy we have continuously implemented in times of crisis and will continue to implement in 2014 as well. All these fact show that the Government pays attention to supporting all vulnerable groups of citizens. In addition to the strong development dimension, there is dimension of social stability, Deputy Prime Minister Stavreski said.

Deficit, as he pointed out, will be financed through domestic and foreign sources.

He believes that the liquidity of the national banking sector enables, by low interest, provision of the necessary funds, as all other countries, while on the other hand, he said, the developments on the capital markets will be attentively monitored.

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