InsiderEconomyHouse to begin discussion on state budget

House to begin discussion on state budget

The Parliament will begin on Tuesday its three-day session to approve the state budget for 2023.

The budget will be the tenth and the last under the administration of President Nicos Anastasiades.

The session is set to begin at 3 pm local time. Representatives of the political parties will address the House.

According to the planning, leaders of DISY, AKEL and DIKO will speak for 40 minutes and the leaders of the rest of the political parties for 30.

On Wednesday the Parliament will convene at 9 am local time with a break at 1300 and again in the afternoon from 3 pm until 2000. There are 16 parliamentarians scheduled to address the plenary in the morning session and 20 in the afternoon. The debate will continue on Thursday until 6 pm, followed by the voting.

The budget provides for total revenue of €11.7 billion and expenditure amounting to €11.3 billion resulting in a fiscal surplus of €0.46 billion corresponding to 1.7% of GDP, while the primary surplus (excluding debt servicing expenditure) is estimated to reach 3%. It features an increase of 12% in development projects, and increased social protection spending, while debt servicing expenditure is estimated to drop by €500 million. GDP growth is estimated to decelerate to 3% from a projected 6% growth this year.

So far only left-wing AKEL has announced it will vote against the budget. The three-day debate will culminate on Thursday with the vote on the state budget.

The Finance Ministry has requested the Finance Committee not to freeze public expenditure that would create problems to the smooth functioning of the public service in the first three months of 2023, as the Parliament will be closed until March due to the presidential elections scheduled for February 2023.

The parliament habitually blocks specific provisions of the annual state budget which then has to gain the approval of the parliamentary committee on financial and budgetary affairs before they can be disbursed.

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