Parliament Approves 2024 State Budget, Deficit Projects to Drop Below 6% of GDP

Parliament Approves 2024 State Budget, Deficit Projects to Drop Below 6% of GDP
stock photo by TASR

Bratislava, December 21 (TASR) - Parliament approved the 2024 state budget on Thursday, with public deficit projected to drop to 5.97 percent of GDP or €7.84 billion in 2024.

House Chair Peter Pellegrini (Voice-SD) cut short the debate on the budget before all registered speakers could give their speeches via an approved amending proposal. A total of 79 lawmakers out of 79 present voted for the budget.

The deficit is thus expected to go down by more than 0.5 percentage point from 6.52 percent of GDP expected this year.

In 2024, overall public administration income is estimated to stand at €53.48 billion and expenditure at €61.32 billion

"The year-on-year decrease in deficit will be driven mostly by the approved consolidation measures; particularly the introduction of a temporary windfall tax in the banking sector, higher health levies, extension of the solidarity contribution in the oil-processing industry, cuts to the 2nd pension pillar levies, the introduction of minimum tax for companies and higher taxes on tobacco and alcohol," reads the approved bill.

"Next year, Slovakia will likely wind up in the excessive deficit procedure, which will lead to more stringent oversight from the EU level. Because of this, it is desirable to set a goal of public deficit at 5 percent of GDP in 2025 and 4 percent of GDP in 2026," added the Finance Ministry.

The lawmakers turned down several amending proposals from the opposition. The debate on the state budget lasted a full four days, underlined Pellegrini, mostly because of the filibuster by the opposition, particularly lawmakers of 'Slovakia' party who spent hours reading amending proposals until Pellegrini chose to cut the debate short with a proposal. No opposition lawmakers were present for the vote.