Much ado about nothing is how one can describe political party amendments in regard to cutting funds from the island’s recently approved 2020 state budget.
Informed sources told Phileleftheros that not even 1% of expenditure was cut and this mainly concerned reduction in operation costs, seminars and staff training.
In fact, out of the total spending of €9.4 billion provided in next year’s budget, only about €10 million was cut. And the majority of parties cut privatisation-related funds.
Excluded are expenses related to the development of the port and marina of Larnaca, of the mountainous Troodos area, the Cyprus Stock Exchange as well as any transaction related to the Solidarity Fund. All these expenses are withheld.
At the same time, they reduced spending on consulting services and research by 5%, with the remaining 95% of the costs withheld.
Operation expenses and credit towards staff training, conferences and seminars were also reduced by 5%.
A few days before the state budget was adopted, the cabinet approved 34 amendments to meet demands set by opposition centre Diko in a bid to support the state budget. With the adoption of these 34 amendments, the budget increased by €55 million, of which €26 million concerned Diko’s proposals.
Amendments adopted at the request of Diko included an increase of €19 million in pensions for low-incomers and a €1.5 million increase in spending on the Mountain and Rural Areas Rejuvenation Housing Plan. In addition, financial assistance to those living at an altitude of 600 meters or above was increased by €2.5 million.
At the same time, funds for the Nicosia-Anthoupolis-Kokkinotrimithia-Astromeritis-Evrychou road were increased by €2 million. And the plan for subsidies towards fertility efforts for childless couples this was boosted by € 1.5 million.
By Eleftheria Paizanou