Fico: Education Becomes Winner of Contest for 2017 Budget

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Prime Minister Robert Fico at a parliamentary session on the 2017 state budget. (Photo by TASR)

Bratislava, November 29 (TASR) – The education sector has become the winner of a contest for money from the 2017 state budget, with spending in this area being up by €300 million compared to 2016, Prime Minister Robert Fico said on Tuesday.

Moreover, teachers’ salaries will go up by 6 percent in September 2017, following a similar increase last September.

“I’m also pleased to see an increase in spending for sports by 80 percent year-on-year, which can have a significant effect on sport infrastructure and the support of individual disciplines,” said Fico.

At the same time, in 2017 health care will receive the largest volume of funds ever. “When it comes to investments, there is €70 million that can be used by the health minister [Tomas Drucker] for reconstruction and overall improving the environment used by patients on a daily basis,” said the prime minister.

He noted that a “tidying up” worth €200 million is due to take place in health care in 2017 in line with the Value for Money project.

When it comes to social affairs, the Government will ensure an increase in pensions, more money for families with children and for people who care for the seriously ill.

The budget also counts on large investments, including the construction of a motorway bypass around Bratislava and of a Jaguar Land Rover plant in Nitra.

“Defence … will also get the most money ever, almost €1 billion,” noted Fico.

The prime minister further pointed out that the Justice Ministry has also received a boost of money for reforming prisons and for security.

Meanwhile, the Culture Ministry will get more resources for developing the culture of ethnic minorities. “This issue interests us; we’re happy to see a high quality of coexistence among people in Slovakia,” added Fico.

Smer-SD’s coalition partners also praised the budget. “Slovakia will have one of the best budgets,” said Parliamentary Chairman Andrej Danko (Slovak National Party/SNS). Parliamentary Vice-chair Bela Bugar (Most-Hid), meanwhile, described the budget as “the best compromise solution”.

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