Government decisions adopted at meetings of government committees
At the meetings of the government committees, the Government, among other things, took a position on the tabled amendments to the draft revised budget for 2023, adopted positions on the opinions of the National Council on this year’s draft revised budget and on the proposal of the amendment to the Implementation of the Republic of Slovenia Budget for 2023 and 2024 Act, and included three new bilateral development cooperation projects in the current 2023–2026 Development Programme Plan of the Slovenian budget in accordance with the amendment to the financing plan.
The Government took a position on the tabled amendments to the draft revised budget for 2023.
At today’s meeting of the Committee on the Economy, the Government of the Republic of Slovenia adopted the decision not to support the tabled amendments to the draft revised budget for this year, as it considers that the funds in the draft revised budget have been adequately planned.
The Government on the opinion of the National Council on the draft revised budget
At the meeting of the Committee on the Economy, the Government took a position on the National Council’s opinions on the draft revised budget for this year and on the proposal of the amendment to the Implementation of the Republic of Slovenia Budget for 2023 and 2024 Act.
In its positions, the Government recalled that the key reason for the revision of the budget was the reorganisation or reshuffle of the Government. Some ministries have seen changes in their areas of work, while new ministries have also been created. As the smooth, efficient and transparent functioning of state bodies is ensured, inter alia, through the implementation of financial plans, the Government has prepared a so-called “technical” revision of the budget.
Regarding the National Council’s proposal that the Government should listen to the representative associations of municipalities and find an appropriate solution for additional municipal funding, the Government explains that with a lump sum of €700 for 2023 and 2024, it has come as close as possible to municipalities and, alongside other measures to mitigate price increases, has tried to mitigate the growth of their costs.
In recent years, the lump sum has grown accordingly year on year. In the light of the macroeconomic projections for 2023, economic and fiscal policies for the whole government sector, including municipalities, need to be adjusted accordingly. At the same time, the Government notes that the financial position of municipalities is stable and sustainable and that any additional government support measures would have a negative impact on the overall macroeconomic and fiscal framework of the country. The implementation of macroeconomic policy should ensure fiscal stability and a sustainable and stable national economic development, which is in the interest of the country as a whole. The policies of all four public finance budgets need to be tailored to this objective.
The Government further explains that the salary increase agreed last October was already taken into account when agreeing on the lump sum, as was inflation of 8.1%. The Government further considers that municipal expenditure has been positively affected by the setting of a maximum retail price for natural gas and electricity, which also applies to providers of officially recognised education programmes. This regulated price will apply throughout 2023. The Government has also put in place various measures to mitigate the price increases of kindergartens for parents, while the thresholds for social transfers are being raised to make them higher and easier for parents to achieve.
Regarding the National Council’s concern and disagreement with reducing the budget reserve, the Government explains that this is due to changed circumstances in mitigating the consequences of price increases for households and the economy, as the energy market situation at the time of the 2023 budget amendments was significantly more unpredictable compared to the current situation.
Inclusion of new projects in the current Development Programme Plan
At the committee meeting, the Government included three new bilateral development cooperation projects in the current 2023–2026 Development Programme Plan of the Slovenian budget in accordance with the amendment to the financing plan.
The Government included three new projects in the Development Programme Plan, namely Sustainable Water Supply in Gradiška, Solar Power Plants in Banja Luka, and Sustainable Forest Management in Adigeni Municipality.
The Sustainable Water Supply in Gradiška and Solar Power Plants in Banja Luka projects will be implemented in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The projects will ensure a sustainable supply of quality drinking water while saving on electricity consumption.
The Sustainable Forest Management in Adigeni Municipality project will be implemented in Georgia. This is the second phase of a large-scale project for the conservation and sustainable use of ecosystems and natural resources, which is being implemented by the World Wide Fund for Nature through the Eco-Corridors Fund for the Caucasus. Slovenia has already co-funded the first phase of the project, which included a forest inventory, the preparation of sustainable forest and pasture management plans, knowledge transfer, and the purchase of forestry equipment.
Slovenia is focusing its aid on countries and areas where it is most effective, reflecting Slovenia’s comparative advantages and capacities, and supporting the development efforts of partner countries in line with the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (Sustainable Development Goals).
Reallocation of spending rights in the budget
At the meeting of the Committee on State Organisation and Public Affairs, the Government approved the reallocation of spending rights in this year’s budget.
A general budget provision of around €3.1 million will be allocated to the Ministry of Labour, Family, Social Affairs and Equal Opportunities for the financing of price increases, namely for the co-financing of the costs of materials, services and additional labour costs of social assistance providers.