Finance Minister Constantinos Petrides on Thursday handed the proposed 2023 state budget to the President of the House, Annita Demetriou.
The proposed budget is €500 million higher than the last budget.
According to Petrides, the budget has been adapted to reflect the new international economic crisis and provides for increased operating, development and social spending, due to inflation, but also for less spending on serving public debt interest.
“I am moved because it is the last budget submitted by the Government of the last ten years”, said Petrides, adding that the first budget was also submitted during a crisis. “The last budget is submitted again under crisis conditions, not of an endogenous, but an international one. It is a budget full of tools to deal with the crisis,” Petrides said.
The Minister added that the budget is increased in response to the crisis, explaining that this is why development spending is up by about 12%, while social spending is also up by about 4%.
“Despite the crisis, the increase in benefits, the support amid inflation of over €350 million, the increase in development spending, we have relieved citizens by €500 million in interest servicing,” he said.
Inflation is affecting public finances, Petrides noted, with the state’s operational expenses rising by 15%.
Petrides concluded that “times are uncertain and difficult. It is a budget that gives the guarantees to move forward, but the right policies are needed so that it can be used properly and I am sure that, following parliamentary scrutiny, we will have this tool to move forward as well.”